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

ePoster Display

193P - Adjuvant endocrine therapy in patients with breast cancer: Relationship between side effects, quality of life and treatment adherence


16 Sep 2021


ePoster Display


Alda Tavares


Annals of Oncology (2021) 32 (suppl_5): S407-S446. 10.1016/annonc/annonc687


A. Tavares, A. Mesquita, D. Magalhães, M. Salgado, F. Braga

Author affiliations

  • Oncology Department, Hospital Pedro Hispano, Matosinhos Local Health Unit, 4464-513 - Senhora da Hora/PT

Abstract 193P


Adjuvant endocrine therapy (ET) is associated with increased recurrence-free survival of breast cancer. It is responsible for multiple side effects which could negatively impact the quality of life (QL) and treatment adherence of the patients. This study analyses the relationship between endocrine-related symptoms, QL and treatment adherence in patients with breast cancer.


A cross-sectional study based on two structured self-report questionnaires that included women who underwent adjuvant ET at least for three months, on a Portuguese oncology centre. The FACT-ES was used to measure QL and to evaluate endocrine-related symptoms. Morisky Medication Adherence Scale-4 was used for measuring the patient’s adherence. Bivariate analysis was performed using the Spearman coefficient and the Mann-Whitney test, with a significance level of 5%.


A total of 113 women with a median age of 55 years were included in this study. Half of them were postmenopausal and two-thirds were being treated with an aromatase inhibitor. More than 20% of women have classified 11 symptoms as “very much” or “quite a bit” affecting them. Vasomotor symptoms, mood changes and joint pain were the most severe endocrine-related symptoms reported. A weak-to-moderate correlation was found between experiencing fewer symptoms and QL, in particular: joint pain, irritability and mood swings. The adherence to ET was 60.2%. Forgetting to take medication was frequent (27.4%). No association was found among ET class, different QL domains and treatment adherence. Irritability and mood swings were associated with low adherence to ET. Women with a low level of adherence had worse QL scores, without statistical significance (p=0.085).


Endocrine-related symptoms were severely reported. Mood swings and irritability were associated with worse QL score and low treatment adherence, which was suboptimal, especially in a country where women have free access to this medication. It is essential to develop strategies to minimize endocrine-related symptoms and optimize QL of these patients.

Clinical trial identification

Editorial acknowledgement

Legal entity responsible for the study

The authors.


Has not received any funding.


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.