Risk-Reducing Medications Can Cut Breast Cancer Death Rates

Tamoxifen with annual screening reduced invasive breast cancers and breast cancer deaths by 40 and 57 percent, respectively

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TUESDAY, Dec. 13, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Risk-reducing medication can reduce the risk for breast cancer death in addition to lowering the risk for invasive breast cancer, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Jinani Jayasekera, Ph.D., from the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., and colleagues examined the lifetime benefits and harms of risk-reducing medication for women with a ≥3 percent five-year risk for breast cancer according to the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium-risk calculator by adapting the established Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network microsimulation model. The effects of risk-reducing medication (tamoxifen/aromatase inhibitors) with annual screening mammography (± supplemental magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]) versus no screening, MRI, or risk-reducing medication was examined.

The researchers found that tamoxifen with annual screening (±MRI) reduced invasive breast cancer and breast cancer deaths by 40 and 57 percent, respectively, for an absolute reduction of 95 invasive (estrogen receptor-positive/negative) breast cancers and 42 breast cancer deaths per 1,000 women versus no screening, MRI, or risk-reducing medication. Side effects were seen in association with these drugs; the number of endometrial cancers was up to 11 per 1,000 women with tamoxifen. There was variation seen in the benefits and harms by individual risk factors.

"What has been missing from our conversation until now is our ability to say to women that these drugs can not only prevent them from getting breast cancer but they can ultimately prevent them from dying of the disease," a coauthor said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text

Elana Gotkine

Elana Gotkine

Published on December 13, 2022

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