Health-related quality of life in long term breast cancer survivors treated with breast conserving therapy: impact of age at therapy.

Research paper by Fabian F Fehlauer, Silke S Tribius, Anja A Mehnert, Dirk D Rades

Indexed on: 13 Sep '05Published on: 13 Sep '05Published in: Breast Cancer Research and Treatment


Aim was to compare the functional status in long-term breast cancer survivors related to age at diagnosis and to asses the effects of adjuvant therapy on health-related quality of life (HRQoL).Data were obtained from 370 patients after breast conserving therapy (BCT) at follow-up (F/U) visit. The self-administered EORTC QoL questionnaire (C30) and the breast module (QLQ-BR23) measuring global health, global QoL, physical, role, emotional, cognitive and social functioning, body image, sexual function, future perspective and arm/breast symptoms were used. Patients were grouped according to F/U (12 years, 7 years), age at therapy (< 50 years, 50-65 years, >65 years) and adjuvant treatment (none, chemotherapy, hormone replacement therapy).The global HRQoL was increased in patients with longer F/U (p < 0.01). Physical functioning, role functioning and sexual functioning were decreased in patients being older at therapy (> 65 years, p < 0.01). Increased arm symptoms were noticed in older women at longer follow-up. Younger women at therapy complained financial difficulties at follow-up (p < 0.006). Adjuvant chemotherapy and hormone replacement therapy did not affect physical and mental functioning.Women of different age treated with BCT for breast cancer should be considered at a different risk for HRQoL disturbance at long term F/U in both, physical and psychological dimensions. In clinical practice, specific identification of those women with negative impact of diagnosis and treatment on long term HRQoL would help for targeted interventions. In clinical studies focusing on HRQoL, the compared groups need to be age-adjusted.