ATLANTA - I was talking with an oncologist from Emory University this week, and was asked a pretty pointed question; do you TAKE your medicine? For most of American people, this probably sounds completely odd – why wouldn’t someone take cancer medication? Clearly, it’s a lifesaving pill, what’s that all about?
Statistically, about 40% of women who are prescribed medication after breast cancer treatment (chemo, radiation, etc.) stop taking their meds at some point. Voluntarily, is the presumption. I offer the following two suggestions, as this is what I have heard from women around the nation (world, actually).
1) Cost. Unbeknownst to many people, the large drug manufacturers are offering substantial discounts on these and many lifesaving drugs to patients. A simple phone call could get you a card you keep in your wallet that will allow you to get medicine from any major pharmacy for a reduced rate. This is a sad statement, as the solution to this problem could be a quick easy fix.
2) Life. This one isn’t so easy. I can’t count the number of women who have told me that they just can’t take the side effects – or worse, their loved ones can’t take them. Hot flashes take their toll on the whole family, just ask my kids who have to tell me all the time to CLOSE THE DOOR MOMMY IT’S SNOWING AND WE ARE COLD!!! There are a myriad of other side effects from some drugs, and I’ve been told that a few gals stopped taking them because the bone pain made their jobs difficult.
So, to all of you out there who think nothing of taking that multivitamin first thing in the morning, don’t forget your other meds, too. You being here with hot flashes is more important than the alternative.