Chemoprevention of breast cancer

Kinsinger L, Harris R, Lewis C, Wooddell M
Record ID 32003001085
Authors' objectives:

This review aims to examine the evidence about the benefits and harms of breast cancer chemoprevention for pre- and postmenopausal women.

Authors' results and conclusions: Strong, direct evidence shows that tamoxifen reduces by approximately half the incidence of invasive and noninvasive breast cancer in pre- and postmenopausal women at high risk for breast cancer. Similarly, evidence from one study suggests that raloxifene reduces by the same amount the incidence of invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women at low to average risk for breast cancer. Raloxifene also reduces the risk of vertebral fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Both drugs are associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolic disease (deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism); tamoxifen is also associated with an increased risk of endometrial cancer. The balance between benefits and harms varies among subgroups of women, depending on age, predicted risk of breast cancer, and hysterectomy status.
Authors' recommendations: Tamoxifen and raloxifene reduce the incidence of breast cancer in women over a wide range of ages and levels of breast cancer risk. Both drugs may also have other benefits, but they may cause harm in otherwise healthy women who take them for prophylaxis.
Authors' methods: Systematic review
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2002
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: United States
MeSH Terms
  • Chemoprevention
  • Drug Therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms
Organisation Name: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Contact Address: Center for Outcomes and Evidence Technology Assessment Program, 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, MD 20850, USA. Tel: +1 301 427 1610; Fax: +1 301 427 1639;
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Copyright: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.