Help is Here for Breast Cancer Patients & Survivors Now Struggling to Swallow Pills
In one moment of one day, life changes … and not for the better. That’s the reality for 1 in 8 women in the U.S. who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime (National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.). In fact, it’s estimated that in 2020 more than 276,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer would be diagnosed in women in the U.S., as well as more than 48,500 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer, and that around 2,600 men would also be diagnosed. That’s thousands of Americans who now have to deal with the realities and side effects of cancer.
One common, and not often thought of, side effect is dysphagia. Dysphagia is the medical term used to describe swallowing difficulties. Breast cancer treatments such as Cerubidine and DaunoXome can impact a patient’s ability to swallow, causing the sensation that food is stuck in their throat, upper chest or behind the breastbone. Those suffering will often cough or choke when eating or drinking, bringing food back up, even through the nose. This can cause feelings of chest pain, heaviness or pressure, and can be short-term or long-term.
This is especially true when trying to swallow pills, including those needed for treatment and to ease pain and discomfort. In fact, according to a study done by the University of School of Medicine and Public Health’s Swallowing Speech And Dining Enhancement Program (SWAL-ADE), there is a potential link between breast cancer treatment and dysphagia. The study found that of those tested, 61% of breast cancer survivors reported symptoms of dysphagia, and 88% had instraesophageal stasis (IES) when it comes to swallowing pills.
Now there is help for those patients and survivors who now find it difficult to swallow pills. It’s called MEDCOAT®. It’s a slick coating that allows pills to slide smoothly down the throat. It alleviates the sharp edges of pills that need to be halved or quartered and eliminates the need to crush tablets or open capsules. It also covers up any bad tastes of the medicines, and is soy, sugar and gluten free.
This revolutionary pill coating is helping to ease some of the pain associated with breast cancer and provide much needed relief.