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Should We Offer Medication to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk?

The American Society of Clinical Oncology issued a practice guideline on use of pharmacologic interventions for breast cancer in 2013. It recommends that women aged 35 years or older at increased risk, defined as a 5-year absolute risk for breast cancer of 1.66% or greater, discuss breast cancer prevention medications with their primary care practitioner. The Society includes the aromatase inhibitor exemestane in addition to tamoxifen and raloxifene as a breast cancer prevention medication, although exemestane is not FDA approved for this indication. Here, an oncologist and an internist discuss how they would balance these recommendations and what they would suggest for an individual patient.

About Annals Beyond the Guidelines

From Annals of Internal Medicine (, Beyond the Guidelines is an educational feature based on recent guidelines. Each considers a patient (or patients) who "falls between the cracks" of available evidence and for whom the optimal clinical course in unclear. Presented at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) Grand Rounds, each conference reviews the background evidence and experts then discuss the patient(s) and field audience questions. Videos of the interviews and conference, the slide presentation, and a CME/MOC activity accompany each module.



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Annals Beyond the Guidelines

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