Breast cancer drugs ‘reduce family health risks’
Women at a high risk of developing breast cancer should be offered prescription drugs that can prevent it, according to an international committee of family health experts.
Reporting in the Lancet Oncology journal, the scientists said that medicines like tamoxifen were proven to reduce the chances of women suffering with the illness, though some drugs have been linked with a risk of blood clots and stroke.
In Britain, around 46,000 female patients are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, but the tamoxifen and raloxifene – both approved in the US – are not currently available as a preventative treatment in the UK.
Professor Jack Cuzick, who led the international panel of family health experts, told the BBC: “The two drugs should be approved in the UK. The evidence for them is overwhelming.”
He went on to suggest that, for every 1,000 women treated with tamoxifen, there could be 20 fewer breast cancers diagnosed.
Earlier this month, Bowel & Cancer Research claimed that households could lower their risk of developing bowel cancers by eating healthy family recipes.