It must be frustrating for researchers to have to rely on self-reported behaviors such as adhering to a pill regimen, diet, exercise, or symptoms. I’m waiting for them to add vital sign and exercise-recognition systems to Amazon’s Alexa or whatnot. Because even the best intentioned patients forget. Or misreport because they want to please the researcher. Or are just wrong.
So I’m glad to see research where things like adherence to tamoxifen (still one of the most prescribed and probably least damaging follow up treatments for hormone positive breast cancer post-op) based on a more objective measure (levels of tamoxifen in the blood).
And uh-oh, yeah, most premenopausal women are actually NOT taking it as recommended, surprise surprise.
I had no real discernible side effects from the tamoxifen (that I could differentiate from post-chemo side effects or the instant chemo-pause I was thrown into) and intended to take it regularly and even I stopped early. So, okay, I stopped three months shy of my 5 years so I’m well over the 1 year or less than 80% danger zone in this article, but still. Just goes to show you.
“A startling 16% of patients who were prescribed tamoxifen were not adequately following the treatment 1 year later based on serum levels of tamoxifen. Slightly more than 1 in 10 patients were nonadherent with undetectable levels of tamoxifen. Interestingly, 50% of patients with undetectable levels of tamoxifen did not report their lack of adherence to the treatment on patient surveys.”
Let me just say, I’m not startled. We don’t do what we say we do.