Cancer Research UK has reported that one in ten women over 50 are at an increased risk of breast cancer.
However, a new drug called anastrozole could help reduce the number of breast cancer cases if given to post-menopausal women who are considered at high or moderate risk. Not only is the drug cost effective (£1.19 for 28 tablets) but is also reported as having more manageable side effects than the equivalent drugs currently available such as tamoxifen.
Whilst the NICE guidelines have now been updated to include reference to this new drug, Nicola Smith from Cancer Research UK is concerned that 'around half of GPs aren't aware of both drugs' preventative benefits'.
If you think you could be at an increased risk of breast cancer please contact your GP and ask about the possibility of cancer prevention medication such as tamoxifen and anastozole. It is important that GPs are educated about this new drug and the updated guidelines to ensure anastrozole is prescribed in all appropriate cases.
NICE estimates that if 1,000 high-risk women took anastrozole for 5 years, 35 breast cancer cases would be prevented. And for every 1,000 moderate-risk women who took the drug for 5 years, 27 cases could be prevented.