A new study
conducted by researchers from Northwestern University found that women who are treated with aromatase inhibitors for their breast cancer are more likely to discontinue treatment earlier compared with those who do not take them.
Some of the side effects that patients can experience from the treatment include joint pain, hot flashes, decreased libido and fatigue. Not only did patients stop the treatment because of these effects, but they also didn't disclose the severity of their symptoms to their physician.
"Clinicians consistently underestimate the side effects associated with treatment," said lead researcher Lynne Wagner. "They give patients a drug they hope will help them, so they have a motivation to underrate the negative effects. Patients don't want to be complainers and don't want their doctor to discontinue treatment."
According to the American Cancer Society, this disease is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women, following only lung cancer. However, the death rate has been decreasing since 1990 due to advancements in research and breast cancer health news. There are currently 2.5 million survivors in the U.S.