Breast cancer drug tamoxifen recommended for ‘high risk’ women
Women in England and Wales with a robust family history of breast cancer might be offered medication at the NHS to aim to forestall the disease.
The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence has launched a consultation on whether tamoxifen is perhaps given for as much as five years.
If approved later this year, the draft guidelines may be the first in their kind within the UK.
Charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer welcomed the “exciting, historic step”.
NICE says not enough is being done to aid healthy but high-risk women, who include women with a sister and a mother or aunt diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of fifty.
Taking tamoxifen for 5 years could cut their very own risk of the disease.
Breast cancer is the most typical cancer inside the UK, with about 50,000 women and 400 men diagnosed with the condition once a year.
Most cases occur accidentally and with increasing age.
But having a family history of breast or ovarian cancer can significantly increase the chance of developing breast cancer and at a younger age, although most girls with a relative with breast cancer aren’t at a substantially increased risk themselves.
NICE says under 1% of girls over 30 fall into the high-risk category.
The new draft guidelines for England and Wales, which might update recommendations made by NICE in 2006, apply to those women and concentrate on areas of care where new evidence have been published, inclusive of using tamoxifen as a preventative treatment.
Based on research findings, experts estimate that for each 1,000 women given tamoxifen, there will be 20 fewer breast cancers.
But this will must be balanced against the hazards related to taking the drug, equivalent to blood clots.
Currently, both tamoxifen and raloxifene, an identical breast cancer drug, aren’t licensed for this indication inside the UK, although they’re in any other countries.
Final NICE guidance is predicted this summer.
Professor Mark Baker, director of the centre for clinical practice at NICE, said: “The causes of cancer are complex and never fully known.
“However, we do know that having a family history of breast, ovarian or a related cancer can significantly increase the danger of developing breast cancer, including developing the cancer at a younger age.
“It’s also much more likely that folks with kinfolk tormented by cancer who then develop breast cancer themselves could develop a separate tumour within the other breast following initial treatment.
“For the reason that it’s wise for anyone with a family history of cancer to receive appropriate investigations and screening that might preferably be unnecessary if a family history didn’t exist.”
Chris Askew, chief executive of the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: “This draft guideline represents a historic step for the prevention of breast cancer – it’s the first time drugs have ever been recommended for reducing breast cancer risk within the UK.
“It is exciting as, even supposing most girls wouldn’t have a major family history of the disease, it’s crucial that people who do have an array of options to aid them control their risk.”
She urged women with concerns about their family history of breast cancer to chat to their doctor.