Side effects of drugs may cause breast cancer patients to skip doses

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According to a new study, breast cancer patients who report more side effects of their hormone therapy drugs and less confidence communicati...

According to a new study, breast cancer patients who report more side effects of their hormone therapy drugs and less confidence communicating with their doctors are more likely, intentionally or unintentionally to miss a dose of their medication. Breast cancer has been a common problem among women and a number of studies are being conducted to better understand the disease. As a part of the treatment in the early stages of the disease, endocrine therapy is given as a daily tablet. This tablet helps to prevent the hormones from helping the tumors to grow. This is also sometimes a very important part of the treatment of the early diagnosed breast cancer.
Side effects of drugs may cause breast cancer patients to skip doses
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However, the authors, in the study said that many women did not stick to the medications over time and had tendencies to deviate from them. The lead author, Gretchen Kimmick, of Duke Cancer Institute, at the Duke University Medical Centre in Durham, North Carolina said,” We were surprised that many women admitted to nonadherent medication taking behaviors. There are many reasons that women may choose not to take the medicine. The most common reason is probably because they notice side effects.” For the study the searchers studied 112 postmenopausal women with early stage, hormone receptor positive breast cancer who had completed surgery, chemotherapy or radiation and were currently taking an endocrine therapy medication like tamoxifen. The women included in the study would’ve followed erratic patterns of medicine taking due to the side effects caused by them.
 The side effects include nausea, hot flashes and headaches.

For the study, the women answered survey questions about the levels of pain, fatigue, hot flashes or night sweats and nerve pains over the previous week. The other fields that were answered included the rating of the confidence in their ability to take the medicine as prescribed, their ability to communicate with their doctors, their beliefs about the hormone therapy and their medication behavior. The women rated the frequency with which they forgot to take the medicine and skipped doses on a scale of never to very often.

The results suggested that majority of the women missed some doses unintentionally, due to having a busy day, being away from home or problems getting refills. A third of them said that they had intentionally skipped or changed the dose often because they felt worse or had side effects and sometimes because of cost. The downside of not taking the prescribed drugs includes risk of cancer recurrence, death, lower quality of life etc.

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Washington Account: Side effects of drugs may cause breast cancer patients to skip doses
Side effects of drugs may cause breast cancer patients to skip doses
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Washington Account
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