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Jack Cuzick,PhD, a professor of epidemiology at Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, discusses his study on tamoxifen and its ability to decrease the incidence of breast cancer for women who are at high risk of getting the disease.
The study followed women for a median of 16 years, and was designed to investigate the long-term risks and benefits of taking tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer. Results show that five years of tamoxifen provide at least 20 years and possibility lifetime reduction in breast cancer incidence for high-risk women, says Cuzick.
Tamoxifen is especially effective for premenopausal women, according to Cuzick. For postmenopausal women, aromatase inhibitors are better alternatives.
Despite these findings, the willingness to try preventive strategies is not very high and tamoxifen is not widely used.
More education is needed to increase the use of tamoxifen among women who are candidates for the treatment, says Cuzick.