Chemoprevention of breast cancer with selective estrogen receptor modulators: views from broadly diverse focus groups of women with elevated risk for breast cancer

Psychooncology. Nov-Dec 2001;10(6):521-33. doi: 10.1002/pon.547.


Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) are anti-estrogens that selectively antagonize the proliferative effects of estrogens on breast cells, thereby inhibiting or reversing neoplastic progression to clinical breast cancer. The goal is to administer these agents to healthy women with an elevated risk for breast cancer. The study reported here assessed the knowledge and attitude of 26 broadly selected women with an elevated risk for breast cancer who participated in three focus groups (eight to ten per group) that discussed the use of SERMs, such as tamoxifen and raloxifen. Data were analyzed by cross-case procedure using variable-oriented strategies. Acceptance of breast cancer chemoprevention treatment with SERMs was found to be influenced by various factors, including a knowledge of breast cancer risk factors, the perception of personal risk for breast cancer, and the perception of barriers and benefits to receiving chemoprevention treatment. The issues involved in making the decision to accept treatment with SERMs are discussed. Most of the participants in the groups indicated they were unlikely to accept breast cancer chemoprevention treatment with SERMs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Female
  • Focus Groups*
  • Humans
  • Knowledge
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk
  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators / therapeutic use*
  • Tamoxifen / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators
  • Tamoxifen