Current strategies for the prevention of breast cancer
Pooja Advani, Alvaro Moreno-Aspitia
Department of Hematology and Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, USA
Abstract: Due to the high incidence of breast cancer in the United States, optimal strategies for its prevention are imperative. This entails identification of women who are at an increased risk for breast cancer and an integrative approach that includes effective screening methods as well as nutritional, pharmacologic, and surgical management. Several breast cancer risk-assessment tools, such as the Gail and Claus models, can help clinicians determine the quantitative risk of breast cancer. The role of selective estrogen receptor modulators, such as tamoxifen and raloxifene, for the prevention of breast cancer has been well established. Several other agents, such as aromatase inhibitors, are currently being investigated. The potential adverse effects of these chemopreventive agents, which include an impact on the quality of life, must be discussed with the patient before deciding on this approach. Additionally, breast cancer risk factors have been identified over the years; some of them are modifiable, but others are not. Although there is no conclusive evidence to suggest the protective role of specific dietary components, alcohol consumption and obesity are associated with an increased breast cancer risk; thus lifestyle changes can lead to a lower risk of developing breast cancer. Surgical approaches, including bilateral risk-reduction mastectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy, are usually limited to women with a hereditary predisposition to development of breast cancer. The objective of this review is to summarize the various approaches directed at reducing the incidence of breast cancer.
Keywords: chemoprevention, tamoxifen, raloxifene, prophylactic surgery
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