MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Endocrine therapy reduces the quality of life of breast cancer patients, especially for postmenopausal women, according to a study recently published in the Annals of Oncology.

Arlindo R. Ferreira, M.D., of the Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France, and colleagues examined data for 4,262 patients with stage I to III breast cancer from the CANcer TOxicities (CANTO) cohort study. Within this study group, 62.8 percent of the patients were postmenopausal and 37.2 percent were premenopausal, with 81.9 percent receiving endocrine therapy and 52.8 percent receiving chemotherapy.

The researchers found that the patients receiving endocrine therapy reported an overall negative impact on their C30 summary score and quality of life. Not only did these patients experience persistent negative impacts on their social and emotional functions, but they also experienced pain, insomnia, and generalized systemic therapy side effects. Conversely, the chemotherapy patients did not appear to have this impact on their C30 summary score. The investigators noted that while premenopausal chemotherapy patients did experience side effects such as negative body image, financial issues, and physical and cognitive deterioration, these side effects did not significantly affect their quality of life, as they had a nonsignificant deterioration of their C30 summary score.

“Our data challenge the common idea that endocrine therapy is an innocent player in the quality of life arena and highlight that appropriate selection of women for endocrine therapy treatment escalation should be a research priority,” the authors write.

The authors disclosed receiving royalties toward this study from UpToDate, as well as travel grants and financial support from pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca and Pfizer.

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