Dr. Hershman on Adherence to Longer Hormonal Therapy

Partner | Cancer Centers | <b>Columbia University Medical Center</b>

Dawn L. Hershman, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Leader, Breast Cancer Program, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University, discusses the need for adherence with longer hormonal therapy.

Dawn L. Hershman, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Leader, Breast Cancer Program, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University, discusses the need for adherence with longer hormonal therapy.

Recent studies have further verified the benefit for patients with breast cancer to stay on tamoxifen for 10 years as opposed to 5 years. As a result, the oncology community needs to consider issues related to adherence and compliance.

Researchers have found that at the end of 5 years of tamoxifen, only about 50% of patients take the medication greater than 80% of the time. Researchers also saw that about 25-30% of patients discontinued medication completely, while 25% took it intermittently.

These patients are so far out from their diagnosis, Hershman says, so physicians need to think about how to keep these patients engaged in treatment.