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USPSTF updates recommendations for breast cancer prevention drugs


When used as primary prevention, tamoxifen and raloxifene (Evista—Lilly) reduced the incidence of invasive breast cancer and lowered fracture risk, according to a systematic analysis of existing evidence. Both agents increased risk of thromboembolic events, endometrial cancer, and cataracts. Tamoxifen was more effective than raloxifene at reducing risk of breast cancer, but was associated with more adverse effects. These data supported newly updated United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations, which stratify decision making for preventive medication use by a woman’s baseline risk for primary breast cancer.


Nelson HD et al. Use of medications to reduce risk for primary breast cancer: a systematic review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med. 2013;158:604–14.

Moyer VA, on behalf of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Medications for risk reduction of primary breast cancer in women: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2013; ePub ahead of print.