[Medroxyprogesterone Acetate as Part of Palliative Care for Terminal-Stage Breast Cancer Patients--A Report of Two Cases].
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Various effective strategies have recently been described in the treatment of breast cancer, including endocrine therapy, chemotherapy, and molecular-targeted therapy, providing long-term survival benefits even after cancer recurrence. However, terminal-stage patients experience side effects and worse quality of life (QOL), in addition to deterioration of their general condition caused by the progression of the disease itself. When providing the best supportive care, use of anti-cancer drugs is not taboo and can represent a good option as long as physical, social, psychological, and spiritual supports are provided to both the patients and their families. Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) is an endocrine therapeutic drug. In Japan, MPA is used only as a late-line endocrine therapy for breast cancer recurrence because many other endocrine therapy drugs are much more effective and MPA increases the risk of thrombosis and obesity. Here, we report 2 patients with breast cancer who reached terminal stage more than 10 years after the first diagnosis. MPA was administered as the final-line treatment. During that time, their appetite and QOL improved and the patients became more active than when they had been undergoing aggressive anticancer treatment. Both patients spent quality time with their families until their death. MPA may be a good option as part of palliative care of breast cancer patients in terminal stage.
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