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What should I do if I have an increased risk of breast cancer?

If you are found to have an increased risk of breast cancer, there are a number of options available.

Extended early detection programme
If your doctor concludes that you have an above-average risk of breast cancer, you should discuss the best course of action to take. It may be advisable for you to have additional examinations or to take part in an extended early detection programme involving closer monitoring; you may also need to be referred to a specialist cancer centre.

Possibility of preventive medication
There is evidence to suggest that medicinal prophylaxis is possible for women with a significantly increased breast cancer risk. The drugs used suppress the production and effects of the female sex hormone oestrogen. This method of prevention is currently being investigated by scientists in a number of clinical trials, such as the international research programme IBIS-II.

Option of participating in a clinical trial
You have the option of taking part in a trial investigating the possibility of using preventive medication for women with an increased risk of breast cancer. Should you and your doctor come to the conclusion that participation in a trial of this kind would be beneficial, he or she will be able to provide you with information and the contact details of a specialist breast centre near you. Further information about participating centres can be found under the menu item “Breast centres”.

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