Samuel Smith on Adherence in Menopausal Women at Risk for Breast Cancer

Samuel Smith
Published Online: Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017



Samuel Smith, PhD, university academic fellow at the University of Leeds, discusses a breast cancer prevention trial that measured adherence to preventative medication in women experiencing menopausal symptoms.

In a randomized trial of women with an increased risk of developing breast cancer, a portion were administered a preventative therapy of tamoxifen while the other was given a placebo. Menopausal symptoms and adherence were assessed initially at 6 months and again at 4.5 years.

There was a significant difference between the tamoxifen arm and the placebo arm, with 72% in placebo and 61% tamoxifen reporting menopausal symptoms in attribution to tamoxifen.

It is important to educate at-risk women on the natural processes and symptoms of menopause before beginning a preventative treatment. According to Smith, this is a crucial conversation for physicians to have with their patients because it will cut down on attribution of normal menopausal symptoms to those of preventative treatment.

The next step, says Smith, is to develop intervention strategies to support women who experience menopausal symptoms during breast cancer treatment. Addressing negative attitudes toward medication is one of these strategies, which, if discussed between patient and physician, is shown to lessen the patient’s rate of attributing menopausal symptoms to their respective therapy.
 


Samuel Smith, PhD, university academic fellow at the University of Leeds, discusses a breast cancer prevention trial that measured adherence to preventative medication in women experiencing menopausal symptoms.

In a randomized trial of women with an increased risk of developing breast cancer, a portion were administered a preventative therapy of tamoxifen while the other was given a placebo. Menopausal symptoms and adherence were assessed initially at 6 months and again at 4.5 years.

There was a significant difference between the tamoxifen arm and the placebo arm, with 72% in placebo and 61% tamoxifen reporting menopausal symptoms in attribution to tamoxifen.

It is important to educate at-risk women on the natural processes and symptoms of menopause before beginning a preventative treatment. According to Smith, this is a crucial conversation for physicians to have with their patients because it will cut down on attribution of normal menopausal symptoms to those of preventative treatment.

The next step, says Smith, is to develop intervention strategies to support women who experience menopausal symptoms during breast cancer treatment. Addressing negative attitudes toward medication is one of these strategies, which, if discussed between patient and physician, is shown to lessen the patient’s rate of attributing menopausal symptoms to their respective therapy.
 

View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections: 15th Annual International Congress on the Future of Breast Cancer®Oct 06, 20172.0
Medical Crossfire®: Leveraging New Evidence in the Context of Evolving Early-Stage Treatment Standards in HER2-Positive Breast CancerJan 30, 20181.5
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