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Tamoxifen Not Being Offered to All Those at High Risk for Breast Cancer

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But Goldstein says women shouldn't have to wait for the results of the trial for their doctors to offer tamoxifen to them. "I just want gynecologists to be more aware of the myths and realities of tamoxifen -- what it does and doesn't do," he tells WebMD. "And the myths and realities of [raloxifene] and what it does and doesn't do."

A gynecologist who spoke to WebMD about the issue agrees that gynecologists need more education if they are going to be able to offer preventive tamoxifen to women at increased risk for breast cancer. But Shashi Lele, MD, says it is unlikely that many gynecologists will prescribe the drug unless patients ask about it. Even then, many gynecologists will refer women to medical oncologists who are more versed in the issue.

"They are not going to prescribe tamoxifen like they prescribe birth control pills," says Lele, who is chairman of gyn-oncology at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. "I don't know how many gynecologists in routine practice [are familiar enough] with the literature that they can keep themselves attuned to this problem."

For more information from WebMD, visit our Diseases and Conditions page on Breast Cancer.

 

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