Researchers with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have discovered that in the absence of a personal history of breast cancer, most women do not take tamoxifen to prevent its onset.
Tamoxifen can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer in women who are at increased risk for developing the disease. Details of this survey are published in the February issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention
, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
The low prevalence of tamoxifen use may stem from various sources, which were not investigated in this study, according to the study's coauthor Andrew N. Freedman, Ph.D., chief of the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, NCI.
However, he stressed that "counseling individual women about using tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer must include a patient's discussion with her physician about the drug's risks and benefits, as well as consideration of the patient's personal values, preferences, lifestyle and specific medical situation."