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USPSTF Releases Final Recommendation on Treatments for Reducing Breast Cancer Risk

Gina Columbus @ginacolumbusonc
Published: Wednesday, Sep 04, 2019

Michael J. Barry, MD, director of the Informed Medical Decisions Program in the Health Decision Sciences Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital

Michael J. Barry, MD

Risk-reducing therapies, such as tamoxifen, raloxifene, or aromatase inhibitors, should be administered to women who are at an increased risk for breast cancer and at a low risk for adverse events (AEs) associated with these medications, according to an updated recommendation statement released by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).1,2

In addition to this positive category B recommendation, the USPSTF also issued a category D recommendation against the regular use of these risk-reducing agents in those who are not at an increased risk for breast cancer. The D recommendation applies to asymptomatic women ≥35 years old. It also includes those with prior benign breast lesions, such as atypical ductal or lobular hyperplasia and lobular carcinoma in situ, detected via biopsy. However, it is not applicable to women with a current or prior breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) diagnosis.

“There are medications available that can help some women prevent breast cancer, but they are not for everyone,” USPSTF member Michael J. Barry, MD, director of the Informed Medical Decisions Program in the Health Decision Sciences Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, stated in a press release. “For women who are at increased risk for breast cancer, these medications can be beneficial and reduce their risk.”

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