Discontinuation of adjuvant hormone therapy among breast cancer patients not previously attending mammography screening

BMC Med. 2019 Jan 31;17(1):24. doi: 10.1186/s12916-019-1252-6.


Background: Breast cancer patients who have not previously attended mammography screening may be more likely to discontinue adjuvant hormone therapy and therefore have a worse disease prognosis.

Methods: We conducted a population-based cohort study using data from Stockholm Mammography Screening Program, Stockholm-Gotland Breast Cancer Register, Swedish Prescribed Drug Register, and Swedish Cause of Death Register. Women in Stockholm who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 2001 and 2008 were followed until December 31, 2015. Non-participants of mammography screening were defined as women who, prior to their breast cancer diagnosis, were invited for mammography screening but did not attend.

Results: Of the 5098 eligible breast cancer patients, 4156 were defined as screening participants and 942 as non-participants. Compared with mammography screening participants, non-participants were more likely to discontinue adjuvant hormone therapy, with an adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 1.30 (95% CIs, 1.11 to 1.53). Breast cancer patients not participating in mammography screening were also more likely to have worse disease-free survival, even after adjusting for tumor characteristics and other covariates (adjusted HR 1.22 (95% CIs, 1.05 to 1.42 for a breast cancer event).

Conclusions: Targeted interventions to prevent discontinuation of adjuvant hormone therapy are needed to improve breast cancer outcomes among women not attending mammography screening.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Discontinuation of adjuvant hormone therapy; Disease-free survival; Mammography screening.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Sweden