There are three main ways in which women can be identified as being at high risk of breast cancer i) family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer, which includes genetic factors ii) mammographically identified high breast density, and iii) certain types of benign breast disease. The last category is the least common, but in some ways the easiest one for which treatment can be offered, because these women have already entered into the treatment system. The highest risk is seen in women with lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), but this is very rare. More common is atypical hyperplasia (AH), which carries a 4-5-fold risk of breast cancer as compared to general population. Even more common is hyperplasia of the usual type and carries a roughly two-fold increased risk. Women with aspirated cysts are also at increased risk of subsequent breast cancer.Tamoxifen has been shown to be particularly effective in preventing subsequent breast cancer in women with AH, with a more than 70% reduction in the P1 trial and a 60% reduction in IBIS-I. The aromatase inhibitors (AIs) also are highly effective for AH and LCIS. There are no published data on the effectiveness of tamoxifen or the AIs for breast cancer prevention in women with hyperplasia of the usual type, or for women with aspirated cysts.Improving diagnostic consistency, breast cancer risk prediction and education of physicians and patients regarding therapeutic prevention in women with benign breast disease may strengthen breast cancer prevention efforts.
Cuzick, J., Sestak, I., & Thorat, M. A. (2015). Impact of preventive therapy on the risk of breast cancer among women with benign breast disease. Breast, 24, S51–S55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.breast.2015.07.013