USPSTF Recommendations on Using Drugs to Prevent Breast Cancer
Recent evidence indicates that drugs that interfere with the action of estrogen on breast tissue can lower the risk that breast cancer will occur in women at high risk. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) considered this evidence in its recommendation that women at low or average risk for breast cancer avoid taking drugs such as tamoxifen or raloxifene to prevent breast cancer. The USPSTF says that women at high risk for breast cancer and at low risk for serious side effects from the drugs should talk with their doctors about the risks and benefits of taking the drugs to prevent breast cancer. The recommendations and a background summary of the evidence for the recommendations are published in today's Annals of Internal Medicine (Clinical Guidelines: Recommendations, p. 56; Summary of Evidence, p. 59). An editorial says that the recommendation to discuss drug therapy with selected patients "raises more questions for clinicians than it answers," (Editorial, p. 52). The writers say that current medical research on this issue is incomplete, and that both women and their physicians "need to understand the limits of what we know and what we can control about the future."
Should Blood Enzyme Levels for Liver Disease Be Changed?
Measuring blood levels of the enzyme, serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), is the most common way to test for liver disease. Blood enzyme levels above a certain value indicate liver disease. A new study
Contact: Penny Fuller
American College of Physicians