Breast cancer prevention studies are clinical trials concerning women who have not had cancer, but are at risk of developing it. These trials explore the risk, or probability, of developing breast cancer. Through such studies, scientists hope to determine what steps are effective in reducing the risk of breast cancer.
The majority of breast cancer prevention research is based on evidence linking the development of this disease, in many cases, through exposure to hormone estrogen. The main focus of several recent breast cancer prevention studies has been with regards to the effectiveness of a series of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). SERMs are drugs which have some anti-estrogen properties and some estrogen-like properties. The anti-estrogen properties in the drugs may help reduce the risk of breast cancer by blocking the effect of estrogen on breast tissue. The estrogen-like properties may in turn help prevent the loss of bone density in postmenopausal women; however, SERMs may cause bone loss in premenopausal women.
Examples of Breast Cancer Prevention Studies
The Breast Cancer Prevention Prevention Trial
Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR)