a substance (e.g., tamoxifen) that lessens the physiological effects of estrogenic hormones on the tissues that are normally responsive to them. May function by exerting a primarily antagonistic effect on estrogen receptors, lessening the effectiveness, or by blocking estrogen receptor sites. Substances (e.g., raloxifene) that exhibit both agonist and antagonist effect at estrogen receptor sites are called selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). These agents are primarily used in the treatment or prevention of breast cancer, as well as to combat female infertility. Also known as estrogen antagonist.
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n. a family of regulator proteins, first of which is the B-Cell Lymphoma-2 (BCL-2) gene. These are genes whose proteins and protein products help regulate the balance between cell growth and death. Often implicated in programmed cell death, it is suspected to be involved in cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, and other lymphoma.
n. the first-two major cancer genes associated with a person's susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer. In women with mutations in one of these two genes, the risk of breast cancer is at 56-85%. A mutation in the second gene also increases the rate of male breast cancer, although the figure runs low at 5%.
The 2 major genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer.
Prophylactic surgery is surgery performed in anticipation of the onset of a particular disease or condition in the organ or area of the body removed. Prophylactic surgery has been used by women with a family predisposition to breast cancer. Women in these instances may choose to have a mastectomy believing that their odds of getting breast cancer are unacceptably high.