, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 10-14

Should menopausal women at increased risk for breast cancer use tamoxifen, raloxifene, or hormone therapy?: A framework for personalized risk assessment and counseling

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Background. Menopausal women with a family history of breast cancer have several treamment options, including tamoxifen, raloxifene, and hormone therapy. This complex decision should be based on each woman’s risk to develop breast cancer, menopausal symptoms, preferences, and risks for other conditions. Current models in use do not include pedigree analysis, personalized risk assessment, or genetic testing in this process.Methods. We created a personalized risk assessment and genetic counseling intervention for healthy women with a first-degree relative with breast cancer. Participants were given a personalized risk assessment for breast cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, and uterine cancer based on family history and personal health data.Counseling Model. The effectiveness of this novel genetic counseling intervention was demonstrated in a randomized trial and these results are published elsewhere. The framework for this counseling model, with case examples from the clinical trial, is outlined in this article.Conclusions. As more menopausal therapies are developed, each with its own risks and benefits, it will become even more critical to have a personalized counseling model for use in this process. Clinicians and educators can utilize the framework presented here for counseling women with a family history of breast cancer.

Supported by a grant from the Susan g. Komen Foundation.