Oops, you're using an old version of your browser so some of the features on this page may not be displaying properly.

MINIMAL Requirements: Google Chrome 24+Mozilla Firefox 20+Internet Explorer 11Opera 15–18Apple Safari 7SeaMonkey 2.15-2.23

Poster Display session 3

1121 - Experiences of endocrine therapy after breast cancer surgery


30 Sep 2019


Poster Display session 3


Susanne Ahlstedt Karlsson


Annals of Oncology (2019) 30 (suppl_5): v836-v845. 10.1093/annonc/mdz276


S. Ahlstedt Karlsson1, R. Olofsson Bagge2, I. Henoch1, C. Wallengren1

Author affiliations

  • 1 Health Care Sciences, University of Gothenburg - The Sahlgrenska Academy, 405 30 - Göteborg/SE
  • 2 Clinical Sciences, University of Gothenburg - The Sahlgrenska Academy, 405 30 - Göteborg/SE


Login to get immediate access to this content.

If you do not have an ESMO account, please create one for free.

Abstract 1121


For patients diagnosed with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer, endocrine therapy (ET) is prescribed, which reduces recurrence and mortality rates (Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group, 2011). Despite the prognostic benefits of ET, the adherence to treatment varies, and 30%–70% of the patients discontinue their treatment within five years (Daly et al., 2017; Tinari et al., 2015; Ursem et al., 2015), often during their first year of treatment (He et al., 2015), due to the fact that ET is associated with adverse side-effects (Regan et al., 2011).


The study was conducted in a surgical out-patient care unit at a hospital in Sweden. Inclusion criteria were women diagnosed with breast cancer and treated with ET after surgery. Forty-eight patients were invited to participate, of which 23 declined, thus 25 women were included. Seven focus group interviews, with two to five participants in each group, were conducted using an interview guide according to Krueger’s (2014) strategy. The interview guide contained six open-ended questions aiming to explore the women’s experiences of ET after breast cancer surgery. Inductive qualitative content analysis was used (Graneheim & Lundman, 2004).


The analysis resulted in three categories that described the women’s experiences: the treatment “creates discomfort”; “promotes levels of management”; and “causes feelings of abandonment”. Women’s experiences of treatment could at first glance be seen as positive, as perceived protection, but after further analysis, a deeper meaning was identified: protection with reservation. When experiencing discomfort, the women were urged to manage the situation, although the mode of management sometimes varied. The women reported that they needed support, but when the support did not appear, they felt as though they had been abandoned. Moreover, knowledge about side-effects became an obstacle. The participants described feeling abandoned, but they also described their disease as “cancer light”.


Professionals need to explore the pre-knowledge and preconceptions that patients might have. This could be achieved by listening to the patient before providing them with information. The information needs to be customized specifically to each person.

Clinical trial identification

Editorial acknowledgement


Legal entity responsible for the study

The authors.


Assar Gabrielsson’s Foundation, Herbert and Karin Jacobsson’s Foundation, and the Swedish Society of Nursing.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

This site uses cookies. Some of these cookies are essential, while others help us improve your experience by providing insights into how the site is being used.

For more detailed information on the cookies we use, please check our Privacy Policy.

Customise settings
  • Necessary cookies enable core functionality. The website cannot function properly without these cookies, and you can only disable them by changing your browser preferences.