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Worsening QoL Linked to Early Tx Discontinuation in Breast Cancer

Worsening in any MENQOL domain or menopause-specific QoL linked to early treatment cessation

woman who had chemotherapy

THURSDAY, Jan. 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For women with breast cancer, experiencing a worsening in menopause-specific quality of life (QoL) is associated with early treatment discontinuation, according to a study published online Jan. 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Olivia Meggetto, from Queen's University in Kingston, Canada, and colleagues examined menopause-specific QoL among patients in the Mammary Prevention.3 (MAP.3) breast cancer prevention randomized, placebo-controlled trial evaluating exemestane. At entry and six months, 4,501 MAP.3 participants completed the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (MENQOL).

Overall, 17 percent of participants discontinued assigned treatment within one year of randomization. The researchers found that within six months of treatment initiation, between 19 and 35 percent of women experienced a clinically meaningful worsening in the vasomotor, sexual, physical, and psychosocial domains of the MENQOL. Experiencing a worsening in any MENQOL domain, or especially, overall menopause-specific QoL, correlated with early treatment discontinuation, regardless of receiving exemestane or not (relative risk, 1.79). Significant associations with early discontinuation were seen for assignment to exemestane, having a smoking history, and current employment.

"Negative changes in menopause-specific QoL influence a woman's decision to stop chemoprevention therapy," the authors write. "Attention to such symptoms may improve QoL and potentially improve chemoprevention adherence."

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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