Prescribing tamoxifen in primary care for the prevention of breast cancer: a national online survey of GPs’ attitudes

Women with a family history of breast cancer are at increased risk of also developing breast cancer. In the UK, this group accounts for up to 10% of all breast cancer cases. The cancer strategy for England recommends GPs prescribe tamoxifen for breast cancer primary prevention among women who are at an increased risk of developing the disease. This study used a cross-sectional online survey to investigate the attitudes of GPs towards prescribing tamoxifen. Over 900 GPs responded to the survey. Only half of respondents indicated they were aware tamoxifen could be used to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Despite this, more than three quarters of GPs would be willing to prescribe tamoxifen but willingness was reduced among GPs who were told they would initiate the drug prescription. The authors suggest that developing a pathway that involves both primary and secondary care through shared care of a cancer patient could increase GPs’ willingness to prescribe tamoxifen. The study also highlights the need for promotion of the tamoxifen guidelines given the low awareness of its use as a preventive therapy. Read the full article here.
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