Study shows high drop-off in breast cancer treatment

More than 50% of Australian women with hormone-positive breast cancer abandon their endocrine therapy before five years, according to a study of prescription, Medicare and hospital data.

The patients most likely to stop are those with small tumours and those with no initial chemotherapy or mastectomy.

Women who start treatment for hot flushes are also at risk of stopping their endocrine therapy. However, muscular-skeletal pain, vaginal atrophy and anxiety symptoms are more likely to result in a medication switch than a stop, according to the study