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Breast cancer patients 'avoiding hormone therapy'

More than half of women with early-stage breast cancer are completing recommended courses of hormone therapy.

That is according to a new report from researchers at Columbia University in the US, which suggested that 51 per cent of women are following prescribed schedules of the treatment.

Oral hormone therapy can include drugs such as tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors, which may be prescribed for up to five years to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.

The Columbia team found that women under the age of 40 were the most likely to discontinue their medication.

"Physicians are often unaware of patient compliance and this is becoming an increasingly important issue in cancer," commented lead researcher Dr Dawn Hershman.

"If we can better understand the issues surrounding compliance with hormonal therapy, this might help us understand why patients don't adhere to other treatments that are moving out of the clinic and into the home, such as oral chemotherapy."

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Breast cancer patients 'avoiding hormone therapy'
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