Breast Cancer Prevention Study Has a Surprising Twist: Less Skin Cancer

In a huge national push from Washington University Dr. Colditz has emphasized that mammogram screening in not prevention and that the whole topic of prevention needs to be updated, even considering prevention strategies in childhood. To that end, looking at older patients, in whom there is still time for prevention, they have discovered the use of anti-hormone therapy for breast cancer at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary University in London the use of the antiestrogen anastrozole was shown make women be 53% less likely to get breast caner. Oddly the researchers in this international study of breast cancer prevention found that there was a 40% reduction in skin cancers for the women who took the treatment as well. The women have been studied for 5 years, and there is 15 years of follow up planned. The results of this breast cancer article were published in the Lancet. Not yet enough to make this medication used for this purpose, but it does open a door on an exciting new wave of studies that could revolutionize how we take care of skin. There are many strategies for breast cancer prevention. One good source of information is found on line in the guidelines of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. There are alternative drugs that may do this as well  tamoxifen, raloxifene, and exemestane are all used in breast cancer prevention treatment. We at Women's Health Practice Recommend coming for discussion of your risks and potential benefits of these treatments for your self, and now for your children.

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