Dr. Muss Discusses Tamoxifen as Breast Cancer Prevention

March 2, 2015
Hyman B. Muss, MD

Hyman B. Muss, MD, professor of oncology, University of North Carolina, director, Geriatric Oncology, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses tamoxifen as breast cancer prevention

Hyman B. Muss, MD, professor of oncology, University of North Carolina, director, Geriatric Oncology, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses tamoxifen as breast cancer prevention.

Muss says breast cancer prevention is difficult. Many of the studies that have looked at tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors as breast cancer prevention have shown that these agents prevent breast cancer, but don’t save any lives. What these studies show is that many of the people that develop breast cancer were able to survive the disease, Muss says.

Muss says the decision to use prevention depends on the patient’s average risk. Understanding the patient’s risk can help determine the potential benefits of these prevention drugs since these drugs come with side effects.

These breast cancer prevention drugs provide the most benefit to premenopausal younger patients or older women who have had a hysterectomy, Muss says.