This site is intended for health professionals only

#GPnews: GPs urged to prescribe drug to prevent breast cancer

13:00 New research has suggested that three-quarters of GPs are unaware of NICE guidance recommending tamoxifen, a drug that reduces the risk of developing breast cancer, for patients at high-risk of the disease.

The research also showed that 52% of GPs did not know it can reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 40%, with the protective effect lasting 20 years.

According to the Daily Mail, the researchers at University College London, Queen Mary London and Cancer Research UK found that GPs over-estimated the side effects of the drugs, like mood swings and depression.

In 2013, NICE recommended that tamoxifen should be offered to women at moderate or high risk of breast cancer, which was also recommended by the National Cancer Strategy.

09:40 Women are being urged to look out for other symptoms of breast cancer aside from lumps, reports the BBC.

It says nipple changes such as rashes, bleeding or discharge, and sores on the skin of the breasts, are often ignored as signs of breast cancer, with women putting off seeing their doctor.

Dr Karen Kennedy, director of the National Cancer Research Institute, said: ’This research shows that, all too often, women are delaying going to their doctor with symptoms of breast cancer.

’This could be because people are simply unaware that breast cancer can present in many different ways, not just through the presence of a lump.

‘With a disease like breast cancer, it’s essential to be diagnosed as early as possible so that a treatment plan can be developed and started.’


Visit Pulse Reference for details on 140 symptoms, including easily searchable symptoms and categories, offering you a free platform to check symptoms and receive potential diagnoses during consultations.