A Tablet a Day Can Keep Breast Cancer at Bay
Sep 10, 2013
Women who stop taking their prescribed hormone tablets after surgery to treat breast cancer are almost three times more likely to have their cancer reoccur than those who stick with the treatment and take their medication every day, according to new research by scientists from Trinity College Dublin. The findings have just been published in the British Journal of Cancer.
“Our analysis, which takes into account records of almost 1400 women with breast cancer, clearly shows that recurrence rates of breast cancer are lowest among the women who stick to prescribed medications after other interventions such as surgery”, explained Dr Kathleen Bennett, from the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Trinity College Dublin. “When you either stop taking your hormonal treatments completely (known as non-persistence), or you take them inconsistently (known as non-compliance), the evidence points to an increased risk of your breast cancer coming back.”
Notes:The NCRI records detailed information on all incident cancers diagnosed in the population usually resident in Ireland. Information on patient characteristics, tumour details, treatment received and death is collected by trained hospital-based tumour registration officers (TRO) from multiple sources including pathology and radiology reports, medical records and death certificates. The HSE-PCRS is responsible for reimbursement of claims made under the General Medical Services (GMS) community drug scheme. All prescriptions for tamoxifen, toremifene, anastrozole, letrozole and exemestane, dispensed to women from the time of breast cancer diagnosis to the end of follow up, were identified from the PCRS database. The date of dispensing, type of hormonal therapy and number of days’ supply on each prescription were abstracted. Using this data a longitudinal daily history of hormonal therapy availability was assembled for each woman by assigning the days’ supply from each prescription to sequential days from the date of dispensing. These longitudinal daily histories of hormonal therapy availability were used to calculate three measures of medication taking behaviour. (i) Persistence: or the length of time that they continue to properly take their medication. (ii) Compliance: the average number of days per week that they took their medication and, (iii) Cumulative exposure: which takes account of both persistence and compliance factors.
Oct 01, 2013
Sep 25, 2013