Medicines to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

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What does all of this mean for you?

Chemoprevention with either tamoxifen or raloxifene offers a way to reduce (but not eliminate) the risk of developing invasive breast cancer in women who are at increased risk for the disease. If you’ve had certain health problems, you may not be able to use either of these drugs. (See subsection “Are there women who should NOT take one of these drugs to reduce their breast cancer risk?” in the section “Who should consider taking a drug to reduce their breast cancer risk?”)

Every drug has possible side effects. And these drugs may not be right for all women who have an increased risk for breast cancer. If you are thinking about taking one of them, make sure you have a clear understanding of your breast cancer risk (using a quantitative risk assessment tool), as well as the potential benefits and side effects of these medicines.

Your doctor can help you gather information and make the decision about whether or not chemoprevention is the right choice for you.


Last Medical Review: 06/04/2013
Last Revised: 07/17/2013