Navigation Links
Poor Women Seem to Be Skipping Breast Cancer Drugs
Date:5/18/2009

Theories vary as to why, but experts say consequence can be severe

MONDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- In another sign of the challenges facing the health-care industry as it tries to serve the poor, researchers from North Carolina are reporting that nearly four in 10 poor women recovering from breast cancer do not take the drugs recommended to keep their cancer from returning.

Those who do not follow instructions to take these drugs, medications that block hormones, face a higher risk of dying, said study author Dr. Gretchen Kimmick.

The findings don't examine whether wealthier women are more likely to take the drugs, nor do they reveal trends over time.

Even so, they raise questions about poor women's lack of adherence to the drug regimens, including whether it's due to factors other than money because government-funded insurance would cover almost all the cost.

"The key right now is that we've got to figure out why they didn't get the standard treatment," said Kimmick, an associate professor in medical oncology at Duke University.

The study included 1,491 low-income women, who averaged 67 years old and were recovering from breast cancer, which had been diagnosed between 1998 and 2002.

The researchers found that 36 percent of the women failed to fill prescriptions for the recommended drugs to prevent the return of a type of breast cancer known as hormone receptor-positive. Women in the study had that type or an unknown type of breast cancer; two-thirds had undergone mastectomies.

Of those who did fill initial prescriptions, 40 percent stopped the drugs before the end of the year-long period.

The study, funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the drug company AstraZeneca, appears in the May 18 online issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Drugs such as the well-known medication tamoxifen, which AstraZeneca markets, are thought to help prevent the recurrence of breast cancer. Kimmick said that they seem to kill cancer cells by blocking estrogen from getting to them.

Treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy don't always kill cells that "snuck out," and the drugs appear to target them, she said.

But some women might have trouble getting into the routine of taking the drugs, she said. Side effects are also possible.

Cost could be a factor in some cases, but the women in the study paid only a "minimal" co-payment for the drugs, Kimmick said.

There are other possible explanations. Dr. Leonidas G. Koniaris, a surgical oncologist who's familiar with the study's findings, said that some women might not realize the value of the drugs.

It's also possible that people from certain cultures could have more mistrust of doctors and medical treatments, said Koniaris, chairman of surgical oncology and an associate professor of surgery at the University of Miami.

Ultimately, he said, women's survival is at risk if they don't follow instructions. Though the drugs won't make a difference to women whose breast cancer was cured by initial treatment, he said, "for one in 10 or one in 20, their chance for cure and long-term survival is shortened by not taking the medications."

More information

The nonprofit group BreastCancer.org has more on breast cancer treatment and side effects.



SOURCES: Gretchen Kimmick, M.D., associate professor, medical oncology, Duke University, Durham, N.C.; Leonidas G. Koniaris, M.D., associate professor and Alan Livingstone chair in surgical oncology, University of Miami; May 18, 2009, Journal of Clinical Oncology, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Mayo Clinic Researchers Say Agent Provides Treatment Option for Women with Hot Flashes
2. 7 out of 10 women too embarrassed to discuss vaginal dryness and pain with their physician
3. Program focused on body, mind and spirit helps women with breast cancer cope
4. Mayo Clinic researchers say agent provides treatment option for women with hot flashes
5. Menttium Offers Scholarship Award to Businesswomen Leaders
6. Womens Digital Imaging of Ridgewood First Private Medical Practice in New York Area to Screen With Breast Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI)
7. CDC: Flu Drugs Should Be 1st Choice for Pregnant Women With Swine Flu
8. Siemens Hearing Celebrates 10th Annual National Womens Health Week
9. Video: Economic Downturn Is Driving Many Osteoporotic Women to Retire Later - but Their Ability to Work May Be Undermined by Sub-Optimal Management of Their Disease
10. Southern AIDS Living Quilt Posts 100th Video Patch During National Womens Health Week
11. More Single Women Are Having Babies
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Poor Women Seem to Be Skipping Breast Cancer Drugs
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... replacement options at his office, Antoine Dental Center. Currently, patients can get single ... restrictions may apply, but patients can learn more about these offers by contacting ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... An in-depth computational analysis of genetic variants implicated ... to eight genes that may explain why susceptibility to one of the disorders could ... study published today in the journal npj Schizophrenia. , “There is a wealth ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... In the Health Care IT campaign, ... priority because it’s not if you will be attacked, but when.” However, he and ... to digital health care. , Improvements in auditing and monitoring have taken security in ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... The narrative in “ Signal ... Schanssema ’s true account of his paramedic experiences. Schanssema describes the tragedies he saw, ... his attempts to overcome them. , Schanssema, initially unsure of the career path he ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Abilene, Texas (PRWEB) , ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... article that focuses on Bible Prophecy concerning this present generation. Yisrayl makes an ... of this current generation. He explains that the Bible details the current times ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... 2017 Visiomed, the French leader in ... is changing the landscape of healthcare with their ... pro-active, custom-made solutions. Recognizing the rising demand of ... healthcare without walls, Visiomed has launched BewellConnect, the ... healthcare professionals that is empowering the lives of ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... LG Innotek hat heute die weltweit erste ... das 1,5-fache des 45-mW-Moduls der Konkurrenz. UV-C ... und 280 nm und eignet sich damit für Sterilisationsaufgaben. Es ... zerstört. Das Produkt von LG Innotek erzeugt UV-Strahlung im ... ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 2017 Nevro Corp. (NYSE: NVRO), a global medical ... treatment of chronic pain, today reported financial results for the ... 2016 Accomplishment & Highlights: Achieved ... increase of 228% as reported, over the prior year ... of 612% over the prior year International ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: