Experts add second drug to breast cancer prevention regimen

Published: October, 2013

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).

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »