Getting a clear picture of chemoprevention

Medications and supplements aimed at preventing cancer, called chemoprevention, can lower the risk of the disease, but patients need to be clearly informed of the side effects.

Researchers from Professor Jon Emery's Cancer in Primary Care Research Group, in the Melbourne Medical School and Centre for Cancer Research (UMCCR), have developed a new way of communicating this information using diagrams called 'expected frequency trees'.

Expected frequency tree breast cancer
Expected frequency trees for Australian females at moderate risk of breast cancer, showing the effects of taking tamoxifen and raloxifene for five years.

The team developed the diagrams to illustrate the effects of aspirin to reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer in people aged 50 to 70-years-old.

They also used the expected frequency tree diagram to explain the use of drugs called selective oestrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) for women at increased risk of breast cancer.

Read more in Pursuit.

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