Jackie Harris Clinical Nurse Specialist for Breast Cancer Care said:
'This proposed new guidance is very good news for people with hereditary breast cancer and a family history of breast cancer that greatly increases the risk of getting the disease.
'The guidance will potentially allow those women who are moderate and high risk breast cancer gene carriers to take tamoxifen or raloxifene where appropriate for five years with the aim of preventing breast cancer which would be a great step forward. This has been happening in other countries but not the UK to date.
'Increased screening with mammography for longer for both women at an increased risk (moderate high risk and BRCA carriers) and for those after a diagnosis of breast cancer who are high risk or confirmed BRCA 1 and 2 gene carriers is something that we would also welcome. Many of those affected tell us how much they would appreciate this.
'It could mean more people whose BRCA 1 and 2 mutation carrier probability risk is between 5 and 10% may have the opportunity to consider genetic testing. And genetic testing could also be considered where a first degree relative who has had breast cancer (with a carrier probability of 10-20%) is unavailable for genetic testing.
'Women under 40 newly diagnosed with triple negative breast cancers could be referred to a genetic team for further assessment for the first time.
'We are also pleased to see that the guidance encourages the additional use of computer calculation models alongside family history when making a risk assessment allowing for greater accuracy and potentially better tailored treatments.
'We will be responding in detail to these proposals after full consideration. What we must ensure is that anyone offered or informed about any of these options is given the support and information they need and that support organisations like Breast Cancer Care are signposted every step of the way.'
Notes to editors:
For further media information please contact:
Sophie Howells/Sophie Softley Pierce
0207 960 3450/0207 960 3505
About Breast Cancer Care
When breast cancer and its treatment overshadow everything we see the woman underneath. Breast Cancer Care is the only UK-wide charity dedicated to providing emotional and practical support for anyone affected. Our free Helpline information-packed website and online forums offer a friendly ear and expert information to those dealing with this life-threatening disease. Across the UK we offer a range of confidential face-to-face services for people living with and beyond breast cancer. We campaign for better support and care and promote the importance of early detection involving people with breast cancer in all that we do.Visit breastcancernow.org or call our free Helpline on 0808 800 6000.