What are my options if I have a "cancer gene"?
If you have a high chance of breast cancer (a first-degree relative with breast cancer or a previous abnormal breast biopsy results with atypical ductal hyperplasia or lobular hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ) or if you are known to carry genes associated with breast cancer, you should consider starting regular breast cancer screening at age 25, or 10 years earlier than the age of the youngest relative with breast cancer at the time of their diagnosis.
Some women choose preventive mastectomy to lower their chances for breast cancer, thought it won’t offer 100 percent protection. Another option is to use anti-estrogen drugs, such as:
- Tamoxifen, a drug useful for pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women
- Evista, a drug used to treat osteoporosis that is useful only for post-menopausal women
- Aromasin, an aromatase inhibitor that is also useful only for post-menopausal women
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This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.