Women with early stage breast cancer, especially those aged younger than 40 years, had significant rates of nonadherence for prescribed hormonal therapy, which has been proven to reduce breast cancer recurrence and increase survival among these patients. The results, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, indicated that 49% of women in the study population did not take the hormone therapy for the full duration of the treatment.
In the study, Dawn L. Hershman, MD, associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center, and colleagues examined pharmacy records for 8,769 women diagnosed with stage I, II or III hormone-sensitive breast cancer between 1996 and 2007. All of the women were enrolled in Kaiser Permanente of Northern California health system and had filled a prescription for tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor within 1 year of diagnosis. These agents are normally prescribed for a period of 5 years. After 4.5 years, 32% of women had discontinued therapy; of those who did not discontinue, 28% were nonadherent (taking medication less than 80% of the time). Continue at HemOnc Today.