More than 500,000 women at risk of breast cancer because of their family history should take tamoxifen as preventive measure, 'historic' new guidance has said for the first time.
It is the first time the drug has been officially recommended as a preventive measure in women who have not yet been diagnosed with breast cancer and the new guidelines could save thousands of lives.
The move has been hailed as a 'historic step in the prevention of cancer'. Families with a strong history of breast cancer should be offered genetic testing to establish the risk to younger women, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said.
According to their individual risk women between the ages of 30 and 49 should be offered tamoxifen for five years which has been shown to reduce the chances of developing cancer.
A recent study showed that 29 cancers and nine deaths could be prevented for every 1,000 women taking tamoxifen for five years.