, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 241-248

Relationship between quality of life and mood in long-term survivors of breast cancer treated with mastectomy

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 This study sought to compare the mood and quality of life (QOL) of breast cancer survivors with those observed in low-risk breast cancer screening patients. A group of long-term stage I–III breast cancer survivors (n=60) was compared with low-risk breast cancer screening patients (n=93) on measures of depression, anxiety, and QOL. Patients without a previous psychiatric history were studied. Although the groups differed in age and education, correlations performed between age, education, and the outcome measures showed no association of age and education with the outcome measures. Breast cancer patients with stage III disease showed significantly poorer functioning in all areas except family than did other breast cancer patients; however, when compared with the breast cancer screening group, they showed higher QOL scores in several domains. Higher mood scores were correlated with poorer scores in all QOL areas except family functioning in the breast cancer group. Only significantly elevated depression scores correlated with poorer QOL areas in the breast cancer screening group. The psychological measures were found to be more robust predictors of QOL than the demographic variables in both the cancer and the screening patients. These results suggest that long-term survivors of breast cancer continue to experience significant stress and emotional distress, as evidenced by increased depression and lower QOL functioning.