What is it?
Tamoxifen can be prescribed for the prevention of breast cancer. Tamoxifen is a SERM – a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator. SERM’s reduce the risk of developing an estrogen-receptive (ER+) breast cancer. Around 70-80% of breast cancers are estrogen-receptor positive.
For people at known risk, Tamoxifen can halve the risk of breast cancer when taken over five years. Patients may be at risk if they have a family history of breast cancer or they have particular genes, for example BRCA1, BRCA2 or TP53.
Uptake of Tamoxifen is low. Clinical trials have shown that on average 10% of patients who are offered Tamoxifen decide to take it. This is due to factors such as access to specialist risk assessment whereby considerations such as family history of reproductive cancers and breast density are reviewed.
The aim of this innovation is to improve patient care and outcomes, and ultimately prevent avoidable breast cancer.
What are the benefits?
- Reducing risk of avoidable illness for patients
- Delivering care cost effectively through preventative medicine
- Reduction of demand for NHS oncology services
- Personalised care improves patient experience ensuring confidence to seek healthcare when needed.
- The NICE guidance for Tamoxifen for breast cancer prevention can be found here: Overview | Familial breast cancer: classification, care and managing breast cancer and related risks in people with a family history of breast cancer | Guidance | NICE
- More information on our collaboration with Health Innovation Manchester and the Accelerated Access Collaborative can be found here: Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) Rapid Uptake Products – Health Innovation Manchester
- Support for patients in relation to breast cancer is also provided by our third-sector partner Breast Cancer Now | The research and care charity.