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Medical News & Perspectives
February 5, 2014

New Trials Highlight Breast Cancer Therapy and Prevention

JAMA. 2014;311(5):453-454. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.286122

Although many women worry about the possibility of breast cancer, a select group of women face especially high odds of developing the disease. New phase 3 clinical trial results presented at the recent 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium may point to ways to transform care for such women, as well as for women who already have the disease.

Many women who face particularly high odds of developing breast cancer—including those having 2 or more blood relatives with breast cancer, a mother or sister who developed breast cancer before the age of 50 years, or a mother or sister who had breast cancer in both breasts—are willing to take preventive measures. Some have prophylactic mastectomies. Some opt for long-term use of the antihormone therapies tamoxifen or raloxifene, which respectively lower breast cancer risk by 50% and 38% but can cause significant adverse effects such as blood clots and stroke.

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