Breast cancer risk reduction now represents an achievable medical objective. Current interventions include selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), prophylactic surgery, and lifestyle change. For SERMs, current evidence supports tamoxifen use for breast cancer risk reduction whereas raloxifene requires further study. Prophylactic mastectomy and prophylactic oophorectomy, effective in retrospective clinical experiences, should be considered only for women at substantial risk willing to accept the irreversible consequences of these procedures. Although dietary fat intake is under clinical trial evaluation, lifestyle change, including weight loss, dietary change, and increased physical activity, can be recommended based on other health considerations. Use of any intervention requires careful breast cancer risk assessment, risk-benefit calculations, and informed decision making with full patient participation. Future breast cancer risk assessment may incorporate additional biologic measures of estrogen exposure and/or analyses of collected breast cells. Under active evaluation are novel SERMs, aromatase inhibitors/inactivators, gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonists, retinoids, statins, and tyrosine kinase and cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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