Should High Risk Breast Cancer Patients Undergo Preventative Chemotherapy?

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There are several risks associated with use of tamoxifen in breast cancer, which may be attributed to its estrogenic activity in human endometrial tissue

Should women at high risk of breast cancer (BC)  take drugs? That depends… what is your family history of BC? If you don’t want to undergo chemotherapy as preventative therapy, what are the other therapies that reduce the risk of breast cancer? What questions should you ask your doctor?

I am a cancer survivor and cancer coach. I believe that the question to ask is “if I have a higher risk of breast cancer than most, how can I reduce my risks safely and effectively?”  In fact, the answer is straightforward and based on research. There is a long and growing list of evidence-based, non-toxic therapies that reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer.

Your challenge is to determine what is causing your increased risk of BC and then determine how best to reduce those risks.

If you would like to learn more about evidence-based, non-toxic therapies to reduce your risk of breast cancer please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading-

Tamoxifen for women at high risk of breast cancer

“Although tamoxifen has been proven to be beneficial in preventing breast cancer in high-risk women, its use has not been widely embraced. To some extent, this is due to several of its side effects, including an increased risk of endometrial cancer and pulmonary embolism, but these serious side effects are rare. The risks and benefits of tamoxifen chemoprevention should be considered for each patient…

There are several risks associated with use of tamoxifen, which may be attributed to its estrogenic activity in human endometrial tissue…

Tamoxifen has also been shown to increase the incidence of deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and cataracts., Both deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism pose significant health risks, and can lead to heart attacks, ischemic stroke, and death

Cancer prehabilitation is emerging as a method of better preparing patients for the often toxic and disabling effects of cancer treatment. Its place within the continuum of cancer care is rapidly being established.

If you were about to go on a ski trip but you hadn’t been on the slopes for a few years you might head to the gym to get your legs in shape. I have lots of friends who try to lose a few pounds before summer in an effort to look better when they put on a swimsuit. Both of these examples are prehabilitation.

Granted, a cancer diagnosis is much more serious than a ski trip or the beach but the idea is the same.

Cancer Prehabilitation is one or more therapies that each of us understands intuitively. Performing a certain exercise to prepare for surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation to improve the healing or the recovery time just makes sense. Learning about your cancer diagnosis in order to prepare emotionally and reduce anxiety and stress also makes sense.

For information about you or a loved one can pre-habilitate for his/her induction initial cancer therapy whether it’s surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply ASAP. 

thank you,

David Emerson

  • Long-term cancer survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Prehab Offers Faster Track to Recovery From Ca Treatment

Early data suggest that this “bundled” approach is effective. In a study published last October, colorectal cancer patients who took part in a prehab program that included regular aerobic exercise and strength training, a personalized nutrition program and protein supplementation, and guided relaxation, performed better on the six-minute walk test both before and after surgery than patients who received only standard postsurgical rehabilitation (Anesthesiology 2014;121[5]:937-947, PMID: 25076007)

Cancer Prehabilitation Improves Outcomes

“Prehabilitation is one or more interventions performed in a newly diagnosed cancer patient that are designed to improve physical and mental health outcomes as the patient undergoes treatment and beyond. Cancer prehabilitation uses a multidisciplinary approach combining exercise, nutritional, and psychological strategies to prepare patients for the challenges of cancer treatment, such as surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy…

In addition to improved physical and psychological health outcomes for oncology patients, cancer prehabilitation can reduce morbidity, increase treatment options, prevent hospital readmissions, and lower both direct and indirect healthcare costs attributed to cancer treatment...

Family conflicts, other non-physical worries before cancer surgery raise patients’ complication risk

“Meeting non-medical needs and improving quality of life ahead of operations can aid recovery and cut health care costs, a new study suggests. Quality of life as measured in the study is about more than happiness and how well people feel physically, a researcher says. It also includes the financial, spiritual, emotional, mental and social aspects of their lives and whether their needs are being met.”

10 Ways to Prepare for Surgery

  1. Be your best.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the surgery.
  3. Speak up.
  4. Learn about anesthesia.
  5. Ask about your diet.
  6. Know what to expect after surgery.
  7. Practice relaxation techniques.
  8. Plan for medications.
  9. Prepare your home.
  10. Pack a bag.

Effects of a combination of whey protein intake and rehabilitation on muscle strength and daily movements in patients with hip fracture in the early postoperative period

Elderly patients can be at risk of protein catabolism and malnutrition in the early postoperative period. Whey protein includes most essential amino acids and stimulates the synthesis of muscle protein. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of resistance training in combination with whey protein intake in the early postoperative period…”

Understanding Prehabilitation, with Arash Asher, MD, and An Ngo-Huang, DO

“After cancer treatment, our rehabilitation program can help a person regain strength, physical functioning, and independence. However, there has recently been a new interest in prehabilitation, which is a personalized program of nutrition, exercise, and emotional support to help a person diagnosed with cancer prepare for treatment, such as surgery or radiation therapy…”



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