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Why women quit breast cancer drugs early
Date:12/9/2011

of women ended treatment before an average of 4.1 years. After two years, 10 percent had quit; the remainder quit between 25 months and the 4.1 years.

"These findings can help us identify women at risk for quitting the therapy, counsel them about the importance of staying on it and provide treatment for troubling side effects," Wagner noted.

Weight gain can be addressed with nutritional counseling, while mood swings and irritability can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy or mind-body techniques, Wagner said. Joint pain can be tempered with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or women may be switched to a different hormonal medication. Nausea can be reduced with medication.

For the study, patients who had postmenopausal breast cancer filled out a 46-question survey rating their quality of life and symptoms associated with breast cancer and endocrine treatment. The survey included an item asking how much they were bothered by side effects of treatment from zero (not bothered) to four (severely bothered). For each additional one-point increase on this item, the patient's risk of quitting treatment early rose 29 percent. The patients were randomized to take one of two hormonal treatments (anastrozole or exemestane) daily for five years.


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Contact: Marla Paul
marla-paul@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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