BRCA: Best Advice for Patients Who Worry

Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, MD


May 28, 2013

In This Article


Chemoprevention is also an option. Taking birth control pills as a contraceptive method has the added benefit of cutting ovarian cancer risk. The longer a woman takes them, the greater the protection, and protection is long-lasting. It can persist for 25 years after you stop taking them.

Tamoxifen is another chemopreventive choice. It is approved for breast cancer treatment and is also FDA approved for women at high risk for breast cancer. It can cut their risk for breast cancer in half. Data from at least 3 studies specifically support tamoxifen's role in risk reduction for BRCA mutation carriers.[3]Raloxifene (Evista®; Lilly USA), used to treat osteoporosis, is also FDA approved as a breast cancer chemopreventative for postmenopausal women. Both tamoxifen and raloxifene work by inhibiting breast cancer cell growth.


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