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Drugs Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk for Some: Experts

Draft guidelines for doctors reflect findings, but it's hard to know who will benefit most, experts say

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The reduced risk among young women "really does suggest that the period of time to actively assess risk and consider chemoprevention is not long after menopause" and even as women make the transition into menopause, Smith said.

Although the studies included in this report did not find a decrease in breast cancer mortality, it could be that it will take longer follow-up times to see a difference, Nelson said.

It could also be the fact that these drugs only reduce the risk of a type of breast cancer called hormone receptor-positive breast cancer and that survival is better for this type of breast cancer, Nelson said. Tamoxifen and raloxifene work by interfering with estrogen, which drives the growth of breast cancer in hormone receptor-positive cancers.

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