Menopause Seen to Affect Adherence to Preventive Breast Cancer Therapy

Menopause Seen to Affect Adherence to Preventive Breast Cancer Therapy
Women going through menopause who experience symptoms like nausea or vomiting, and headaches, are much less likely to remain on preventive treatment for breast cancer than those who did not, even if they are at higher risk of this cancer, according to data from the International Breast Cancer Intervention Study I (IBIS-I). The findings, recently presented at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, suggest that women may attribute menopausal symptoms to their medication — irrespective of being assigned tamoxifen of placebo — and are significantly less likely to adhere to their medication 4.5 years following treatment initiation. The International Breast Cancer Intervention Study I (IBIS-I) investigated the use of tamoxifen in preventing breast cancer in women at risk of developing the disease. Tamoxifen, marketed under the brand name Nolvadex, among others, is a medication widely used both to treat breast cancer patients and as a preventive measure for people at increased risk of the disease. Results of the study, which recruited 7,154 women from 36 centers in nine countries, showed that tamoxifen treatment for five years reduced the incidence of breast cancer by one-third in high-risk women. "Data from the IBIS-1 and other trials indicate that five years of tamoxifen treatment reduces risk of breast cancer by at least 30 percent for women at increased risk for the disease, and that this effect seems to last for at least 20 years," Samuel G. Smith, PhD, a Cancer Research UK postdoctoral fellow and university academic fellow at the University of Leeds,  said in a
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