The use of medication to prevent cancer in highly susceptible individuals is being evaluated called as chemoprevention. An action that can cure a disease or prevent it is called an intervention. Studies are being done to find out intervention to prevent cancer from forming and coming back which is also called Recurrence.
Chemoprevention is being evaluated in ongoing research in high-risk patients susceptible to developing cancer.
Chemoprevention uses agents to prevent cancer from occurring or coming back. They occur in nature or synthesized in the laboratory. They are being tested in individuals who are highly susceptible to cancer. Risk for cancer can be in multiple forms, as a precancerous condition, strong family history or a lifestyle-related factor.
Agents that may lower the cancer risk are:
- NSERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators) have been found to lower the risk of breast cancer in women who are highly susceptible and at high risk. They agents used are tamoxifen and raloxifene. They are associated with adverse effects like hot flashes.
- NThe risk of prostate cancer has been shown to be lowered with use of finasteride.
- NThe risk of breast and colon cancer may lowered by COX-2 inhibitors. These agents have been associated with side effects like heart problems. Hence limited scientific studies are available on these agents.
- NAspirin may be used to lower the incidence of colorectal cancer. It has been associated with bleeding in brain or bowels as adverse effects. There have been limited studies due to bleeding complications.