MONDAY, June 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Many older breast cancer patients with localized disease are taking drug treatments to prevent their cancer from returning, a new study finds.
The research, covering a seven-year period, included more than 1,000 women, aged 65 to 91, across the United States who had estrogen-positive breast cancer that had not spread. The researchers looked at the patients' use of either an aromatase inhibitor or tamoxifen, both of which are drugs that prevent tumors from using estrogen to grow.
Although 51 percent of the patients who started taking the drugs discontinued use before they completed the recommended five years of treatment, only 14 percent of the women refused to take the drugs at all, the researchers found.
Those most likely to decide against taking the drugs included frail, older and non-white patients, and those with more advanced cancer, according to the study published online June 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.