Many Breast Cancer Patients Don't Adhere to Therapy

Half aren't fully adherent to hormonal therapy; younger women at high risk of non-adherence
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Only half of hormone-sensitive stage I to III breast cancer patients prescribed adjuvant hormonal therapy adhere to that therapy for the full duration at the optimal schedule, and younger women in particular are at high risk of non-adherence, according to a study published online June 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Dawn L. Hershman, M.D., of the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues evaluated 8,769 women diagnosed with hormone-sensitive stage I to III breast cancer from 1996 to 2007 who filled at least one prescription for tamoxifen (43 percent), aromatase inhibitors (26 percent), or both (30 percent) within one year of diagnosis.

The researchers found that earlier discontinuation of hormone therapy was linked to younger or older age, presence of comorbidities, and lumpectomy. However, completion of 4.5 years of therapy was associated with Asian race, being married, earlier year at diagnosis, receipt of chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and longer prescription refill interval. Women under 40 years of age demonstrated the highest risk of discontinuation (hazard ratio, 1.51). After 4.5 years, 32 percent of women had discontinued therapy. Of women who continued therapy, 72 percent were fully adherent. In total, just 49 percent of the patients continued therapy and took medications in the prescribed fashion through 4.5 years.

"Further investigation is warranted to determine the association between non-adherence to hormonal therapy and breast cancer-specific mortality. Ultimately, interventions need to be defined to help such patients comply with the full course of adjuvant hormonal therapy," the authors conclude.

Abstract
Full Text

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95


The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95


Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95


More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.


Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.


Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.


More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events