Original Research: Oral Health Concerns of Female Breast Cancer Survivors on Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy

So Hyun Park, Shiela M. Strauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background:Oral complications from cancer treatments are among the adverse effects breast cancer survivors can face. Yet such complications are often overlooked in cancer survivorship care. Many breast cancer survivors are receiving adjuvant endocrine therapy, but there is limited understanding of potential oral complications from this therapy.Purpose:This study aimed to compare aspects of oral health in female breast cancer survivors who were taking adjuvant endocrine therapy with those of survivors not taking such therapy.Methods:National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data collected from January 2009 through March 2020 were used for the analysis. Female adults ages 20 years and older who had been diagnosed with breast cancer were included. Linear regression and χ2 analyses were conducted to examine aspects of oral health, using IBM SPSS Complex Samples software, version 27.Results:In our sample of 423 female breast cancer survivors, 7.1% were taking tamoxifen, 7.8% were taking anastrozole, 4.3% were taking letrozole, and 2.9% were taking exemestane. Compared with the survivors not taking such therapy, a greater proportion of those taking it had decayed teeth, gum disease/problems, and were recommended for imminent dental care after oral health examination by dentists. The survivors who were not taking adjuvant endocrine therapy had more coronal cavities.Conclusions:Data analysis showed that female breast cancer survivors taking adjuvant endocrine therapy appear more likely to have oral health issues than those not taking such therapy. Improved awareness of these issues is critical. Assessment and management guidelines to address these oral health issues are needed by health care providers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-29
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Nursing
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • adjuvant endocrine therapy
  • aromatase inhibitors
  • breast cancer
  • oral health
  • tamoxifen


Dive into the research topics of 'Original Research: Oral Health Concerns of Female Breast Cancer Survivors on Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this