This year, more than 200 000 women in the United States will be diagnosed as having invasive breast cancer.1 The past 20 years of research translating an understanding of basic biology into therapeutics has led to major improvements in the survival and quality of life of patients who carry a diagnosis of breast cancer. Parallel strategies to prevent breast cancer have also been studied. These include lifestyle modification (eg, diet, alcohol intake, optimizing weight, exposure to exogenous estrogens), ablative surgery (prophylactic mastectomy, oophorectomy, or both), and more recently, chemoprevention with selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) such as tamoxifen.
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