15/01/2013 - Proposal for use of tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer in high risk women
For the first time women in England and Wales who have a strong family history of breast cancer could be offered medication on the NHS, in order to try and prevent the disease.
A consultation has been launched by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on whether tamoxifen, which is already used as a breast cancer treatment, could be given for up to five years to reduce the risk of the disease.
Commenting on the proposal RPS Spokesperson Steve Williamson said: “It’s excellent news that we can bring “new life” to an established safe medicine like tamoxifen by looking at how we can maximise the benefits from this medicine. As well as significantly reducing the risk of breast cancer in women with a high genetic predisposition to the disease this medicine, if approved for prevention, will be very cost effective for the NHS.
This proposal by NICE builds on practice that is already occurring to better identify the types of cancer that people to ensure we match the most effective treatments, something that is improving all the time. It’s also important to recognise that tamoxifen isn’t a “magic bullet” for stopping breast cancer. People can do much to reduce their risk through modifying the lifestyle factors that can influence the chance of developing cancer, including breast cancer by stopping smoking, reducing alcohol, losing weight and exercising more”.