This guideline covers care for people with a family history of breast, ovarian or another related (prostate or pancreatic) cancer. It aims to improve the long-term health of these families by describing strategies to reduce the risk of and promote early detection of breast cancer (including genetic testing and mammography). It also includes advice on treatments (tamoxifen, raloxifene) and surgery (mastectomy).

NICE has also produced a guideline on some of the tests and treatments for early and locally advanced breast cancer.

In March 2017, we reviewed the evidence for chemoprevention for women with no personal history of breast cancer and changed some recommendations in section 1.7.

Recommendations

This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Healthcare professionals
  • People with a family history of breast, ovarian or a related (prostate or pancreatic) cancer and their carers

Is this guideline up to date?

We have checked this guideline and have identified no major studies that will affect the recommendations in the next 3–5 years.

We do not plan to update the guideline during this time but we are consulting on this decision. Register as a stakeholder to be informed about the final decision.

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

This guideline updates and replaces NICE guideline CG41 (October 2006).

This guideline was previously called familial breast cancer: classification and care of people at risk of familial breast cancer and management of breast cancer and related risks in people with a family history of breast cancer.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.


Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)