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Page last updated at 09:24 GMT, Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Pre-emptive breast cancer drugs 'reduce risk'


New proposals from the medicines advisory body NICE could see women at high risk of developing breast cancer being given drugs to try to prevent the illness.

The guidelines, which are being published for consultation, would apply to NHS patients in England and Wales from the summer if approved.

Emma Parlons, who decided to have a double mastectomy, explained to Today presenter John Humphrys that she had an 85% chance of developing breast cancer.

She explained that she "didn't have any doubts" about going through with the surgery.

"I felt strangely empowered because I had saved my life" she reflected.

Professor Gareth Evans, a consultant at St Mary's hospital who has led the work at NICE, explained that "the majority of women, even at the very highest level of risk, are not under going risk reducing surgery".

These drugs "substantially reduce the risk" he said.

"Some women these drugs reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 70%," he added.

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