New York—One out of six women who should have received postsurgical adjuvant endocrine therapy (AET) did not receive it, according to a nationwide cancer registry of almost one million patients treated for hormone-sensitive breast cancer. The report in JAMA Oncology notes that adjuvant endocrine therapy is associated with a 29% reduction in the risk of death for women with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Study authors led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center researchers estimate that 14,630 women who did not get hormone treatment died unnecessarily between 2004 and 2013 from recurrence of their cancers. By the end of the study, 18% of women who could have benefited were still not getting potentially life-saving care. The researchers also found that about 3% of women who lacked hormone receptors were inappropriately treated with AET.
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