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Table 5 Reasons women are reluctant to use chemoprevention

From: Understanding low chemoprevention uptake by women at high risk of breast cancer: findings from a qualitative inductive study of women’s risk-reduction experiences

Concern Example quotes
Taking medications, or taking additional medications (9 participants) I don't like to take drugs. Just a personal preference. If I don't have to take pills, I don't like to take pills. (Kaitlyn, White, late 30s)
I think if I weren’t on immune-suppressive therapy [taking Tamoxifen] would be more on the table. (Lucy, White, late 40s)
Known side effects or unknown potential long-term health impacts
(8 participants)
The side-effects on some of those drugs are awful. (Sharon, White, late 20s)
I don't always trust that this stuff is safe because if it's fairly new, sometimes you don't know for ten years. So, I guess I'd be hesitant unless there was something that was tried and true and had been out for a while. (Anne, White, late 50s)
Chemoprevention is too drastic or less definitive/proactive than preventive surgery (6 participants) Chemoprevention seems awfully extreme. (Sharon, White, late 20s)
[Surgery] is just more definitive. (Lainie, White, late 50s)
Lack of chemoprevention information (4 participants) If I start now, am I going to be taking it for the rest of my life? I don’t know. (Jojo, African American, late 20s)
Doubts effectiveness of chemoprevention
(2 participants)
It’s so unlikely to work, why put yourself through that? (Sharon, White, late 20s)
From the research I’ve read, Tamoxifen is a maybe help… But it’s not like a, “You won’t get cancer if you take Tamoxifen.” (Marsha, White, early 40s)
Chemoprevention will be like chemotherapy, or will negatively affect quality of life (3 participants) I’m hypersensitive to [medications], so the idea of taking something that might not make me feel well…is it worth quality of life? (Marsha, White, early 40s)
I’d probably be a little bit more concerned [about taking Tamoxifen] because I saw my mom have such troubles with it [after she had cancer]. (Kim, White, late 30s)
  1. Quotes taken from interviews with women who were aware of chemoprevention but disinclined or unwilling to consider it (14 out of 50 participants)