Quality of life in Brazilian breast cancer survivors age 45-65 years: associated factors.

Research paper by Délio Marques DM Conde, Aarão Mendes AM Pinto-Neto, César C Cabello, Danielle D Santos-Sá, Lúcia L Costa-Paiva, Edson Zangiacomi EZ Martinez

Indexed on: 22 Nov '05Published on: 22 Nov '05Published in: The Breast Journal


The objectives of this study were to evaluate quality of life (QOL) and identify its associated factors in climacteric women with a history of breast cancer. A cross-sectional study was performed including 75 breast cancer survivors age 45-65 years who had undergone complete oncologic treatment and nonusers of hormone therapy or tamoxifen in the last 6 months. Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics in addition to the prevalence of climacteric symptoms were evaluated. QOL was evaluated by the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) questionnaire, including eight components that can be condensed into two summaries: a physical component summary (physical functioning, role-physical, body pain, general health) and a mental component summary (vitality, social functioning, role-emotional, and mental health). Generalized linear models were used to analyze the data, allowing the identification of factors affecting QOL, adjusting for confounding variables. The mean age of the participants was 53.1+/-5.9 years. Breast cancer survivors reported good QOL. The most prevalent symptoms were nervousness (69%) and hot flashes (56%). Factors associated with poorer QOL were dizziness, postmenopausal status, and breast-conserving therapy (physical component), as well as insomnia and being married (mental component). In conclusion, participants demonstrated good QOL. We identified factors that may influence QOL in women with breast cancer, highlighting being married, climacteric symptoms, postmenopausal status, and breast-conserving therapy. Given the impact of these factors, health professionals and patients must discuss choices for alleviating climacteric symptoms and explanations for the potential repercussions of breast cancer treatment.