Breast Cancer Prevention
Raloxifene is another SERM that is being studied for use in breast cancer prevention. A research study of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis has shown that raloxifene lowered the risk of breast cancer for women at both high risk and low risk of developing the disease. It is not known if women who do not have osteoporosis would benefit in the same way. Like tamoxifen, raloxifene may increase the risk of blood clots in veins and in the lungs, but it does not appear to increase the risk of endometrial cancer.
The removal of both breasts may reduce the risk of breast cancer in women with a family history of the disease. Before making the decision to have prophylactic mastectomy, however, it is important to undergo cancer risk assessment and counseling, and to carefully consider all the treatment options. In some women, prophylactic mastectomy may cause anxiety, depression, and concerns about body image.
Hormones produced by the ovaries appear to increase a woman's risk for developing breast cancer. The removal of one or both ovaries, through a procedure called an oophorectomy, reduces the risk.
Final Thoughts on Preventing Breast Cancer
Breast cancer prevention begins with learning about associated risk factors and protective factors. It then involves modifying any of those factors that you can control.
Although many risk factors can be avoided, it is important to keep in mind that avoiding risk factors does not guarantee that you will not get cancer. Also, most people with a particular risk factor for cancer do not actually get the disease. Some people are more sensitive than others are to factors that can cause cancer. Talk to your doctor about prevention methods that might be effective for you.