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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2012 Jan;21(1):35-42. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2011.2773. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

Adjuvant hormonal therapy use among women with ductal carcinoma in situ.

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  • 1Department of Health Evidence and Policy, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.



In the absence of consistent guidelines for the use of adjuvant hormonal therapy (HT) in treating ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), our purpose was to explore a variety of factors associated with discussion, use, and discontinuation of this therapy for DCIS, including patient, tumor, and treatment-related characteristics and physician-patient communication factors.


We identified women from eight California Cancer Registry regions diagnosed with DCIS from 2002 through 2005, aged ≥18 years, of Latina or non-Latina white race/ethnicity. A total of 744 women were interviewed an average of 24 months postdiagnosis about whether they had (1) discussed with a physician, (2) used, and (3) discontinued adjuvant HT.


Although 83% of women discussed adjuvant HT with a physician, 47% used adjuvant HT, and 23% of users reported discontinuation by a median of 11 months. In multivariable adjusted analyses, Latina Spanish speakers were less likely than white women to discuss therapy (odds ratio [OR] 0.36, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.18-0.69) and more likely to discontinue therapy (OR 2.67, 95% CI 1.05-6.81). Seeing an oncologist for follow-up care was associated with discussion (OR 5.10, 95% CI 3.14-8.28) and use of therapy (OR 4.20, 95% CI 2.05-8.61). Similarly, physician recommendation that treatment was necessary vs. optional was positively associated with use (OR 11.2, 95% CI 6.50-19.4) and inversely associated with discontinuation (OR 0.38, 95% CI 0.19-0.73).


Physician recommendation is an important factor associated with use and discontinuation of adjuvant HT for DCIS. Differences in discussion and discontinuation of therapy according to patient characteristics, particularly ethnicity/language, suggest challenges to physician-patient communication about adjuvant HT across a language barrier.

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