Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 134, Issue 2, pp 875–880 | Cite as

Use of tamoxifen and raloxifene for breast cancer chemoprevention in 2010

  • Erika A. Waters
  • Timothy S. McNeel
  • Worta McCaskill Stevens
  • Andrew N. Freedman
Brief Report


Two selective estrogen receptor modulators, tamoxifen and raloxifene, have been shown in randomized clinical trials to reduce the risk of developing primary invasive breast cancer in high-risk women. In 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used these studies as a basis for approving tamoxifen for primary breast chemoprevention in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women at high risk. In 2007, the FDA approved raloxifene for primary breast cancer chemoprevention for postmenopausal women. Data from the year 2010 National Health Interview Survey were analyzed to estimate the prevalence of tamoxifen and raloxifene use for chemoprevention of primary breast cancers among U.S. women. Prevalence of use of chemopreventive agents for primary tumors was 20,598 (95 % CI, 518–114,864) for U.S. women aged 35–79 for tamoxifen. Prevalence was 96,890 (95 % CI, 41,277–192,391) for U.S. women aged 50–79 for raloxifene. Use of tamoxifen and raloxifene for prevention of primary breast cancers continues to be low. In 2010, women reporting medication use for breast cancer chemoprevention were primarily using the more recently FDA approved drug raloxifene. Multiple possible explanations for the low use exist, including lack of awareness and/or concern about side effects among primary care physicians and patients.


Chemoprevention Tamoxifen Raloxifene Breast cancer Side effect 



This research was funded by a contract awarded to Erika Waters by the National Institutes of Health (Contract No. HHSN261201100437P).

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC(outside the USA) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erika A. Waters
    • 1
  • Timothy S. McNeel
    • 2
  • Worta McCaskill Stevens
    • 3
  • Andrew N. Freedman
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Surgery (Division of Public Health Sciences)Washington University School of MedicineSaint LouisUSA
  2. 2.Information Management Services, Inc.Silver SpringUSA
  3. 3.Division of Cancer PreventionNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA
  4. 4.Division of Cancer Control and Population SciencesNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA

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