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Genetics & High Risk Cancer Screening Clinic 2015 Research Residents


Breast Cancer Risk Reduction — Prophylaxis


Fastors that increase risk of a woman developing breast cancer
Some risk factors for breast cancer cannot be changed - women are more than 100 times as likely as men to develop breast cancer. Increasng age of a woman is also a risk factor for development of breast cancer. Inherited gene mutationss associated with breast cancer also put wokmen at an increased risk. Dense breasts increase the risk of breast cancer for women; the denser the breasts, the higher the risk. Hormone therapy is also associated with an inreased risk of breast cancer. Exposure to ionizing radiation is a factor (with mitigating factors). Obesity and alcohol use can also increase a woman's risk for breast cancer.


Factors that can decrease risk of a woman developing breast cancer
Full-term pregnancy before age 20 decreases breast cancer risk, as does breast feeding. Estrogen use after hysterectomy decreases risk BUT there are increased risks if the woman is post-menopausal and taking estrogen. Results of these tests can be conflicting and confusing. Medications for the prevention of breast cancer:

  • Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) - Tamoxifen and raloxifene reduce the incidence of breast cancer in high-risk post-menopausal women.
  • Aromatase inhibitors or inactivators (AIs) - Based on solid evidence, AIs reduce the incidence of new breast cancers in post-menopausal women who have an increased risk.
Surgical options for the prevention of breast cancer:


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