Risk Reduction Strategies in Breast Cancer Prevention


  • Mauricio Costa
  • Paula Saldanha

Received Date: 15.05.2017 Accepted Date: 19.06.2017 Eur J Breast Health 2017;13(3):103-112

Evaluating the risk of breast cancer makes it possible to identify women with a high risk of developing breast cancer in the future. Adopting a healthier lifestyle, involving diet and exercise, is one way of reducing this risk-but there are other, non-modifiable risk factors, such as family history, genetics and diagnosis of premalignant lesions. In this high-risk population, the tracking must be rigorous and involve the participation of the patient herself, earlier and more frequent clinical assessment, and the use of imaging screening. Agents such as tamoxifen, raloxifene and aromatase inhibitors may be used in chemoprevention and may reduce the risk substantially. The risks and benefits must be assessed, and one must discuss with the patient her adverse events and the decision regarding the best treatment. Women who carry the BRCA1/2 mutation (very high risk) can benefit from prophylactic surgical interventions, such as bilateral mastectomy and/or bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. This group of patients must be monitored by a multidisciplinary team, providing explanations prior to surgery regarding the surgical treatment offered, the reconstruction techniques, and the risks and complications.

Keywords: Breast, risk, mastectomy, serm oophorectomy