Harvard Women's Health Watch

Experts add second drug to breast cancer prevention regimen

Postmenopausal women who are at increased risk for estrogen receptor (ER)–positive breast cancer may want to ask their doctors about adding another drug to their cancer prevention regimen. In a clinical practice guideline released July 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recommended that women who are at increased risk for ER-positive breast cancer talk to their doctor about taking the aromatase inhibitor exemestane (Aromasin). Aromasin blocks the production of the hormone estrogen, which fuels ER-positive breast cancers. This adds to ASCO's previous recommendation that women at high risk consider the estrogen-blocking drugs raloxifene (Evista) and tamoxifen (Nolvadex) as part of their preventive strategy. You are considered a candidate for these drugs if your five-year projected breast cancer risk is 1.66% or higher on the National Cancer Institute Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool (www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool).

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