Health-related quality of life in long-term breast cancer survivors: Nationwide survey in Denmark

  • Vera Peuckmann
  • Ola Ekholm
  • Niels Kristian Rasmussen
  • Susanne Møller
  • Mogens Groenvold
  • Peer Christiansen
  • Jørgen Eriksen
  • Per Sjøgren
Epidemiology

DOI: 10.1007/s10549-006-9386-6

Cite this article as:
Peuckmann, V., Ekholm, O., Rasmussen, N.K. et al. Breast Cancer Res Treat (2007) 104: 39. doi:10.1007/s10549-006-9386-6

Abstract

Aim

To investigate health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in a nationally representative sample of long-term breast cancer survivors (BCS) in Denmark.

Participants and methods

An age-stratified random sample of 2,000 female BCS ≥ 5 years after primary surgery without recurrence was drawn from the Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group register, which is representative regarding long-term BCS in Denmark, and compared with 3,104 women of the nationally representative Danish Health and Morbidity Survey 2000. The Short Form-36 questionnaire assessed HRQOL and its association with BCS’ sociodemography, type of surgery, systemic therapy, radiotherapy, time since operation, receptor status, and low/high risk protocol.

Results

The response rate was 79%. BCS tended to rate HRQOL better than the general female population. BCS reported significantly less “bodily pain” (P < 0.0001), better “general health” (P < 0.0001), but worse “mental health” (P < 0.0001). Age interacted significantly with four other subscales (P < 0.05): Younger BCS reported worse HRQOL than equally aged women of the general population, while older BCS reported better HRQOL. Poor HRQOL was significantly associated with being single (all subscales: P < 0.05), short education (all subscales: P < 0.05, except “social function”), and high body mass index (“physical function”, “role physical”: P < 0.05). Breast cancer (low/high risk, receptor status) and treatment did not affect HRQOL.

Conclusion

HRQOL was similar between BCS and women of the general population. Potential long-term effects of breast cancer (low/high risk, receptor status) and treatment did not seem to impact HRQOL. However, predictors for worse HRQOL in BCS were being single, and having a short education.

Keywords

Breast cancer survivor Health-related quality of life Breast cancer treatment Epidemiology 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vera Peuckmann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ola Ekholm
    • 3
  • Niels Kristian Rasmussen
    • 3
  • Susanne Møller
    • 4
  • Mogens Groenvold
    • 5
    • 6
  • Peer Christiansen
    • 4
    • 7
  • Jørgen Eriksen
    • 1
  • Per Sjøgren
    • 1
  1. 1.Multidisciplinary Pain CentreUniversity Hospital Rigshospitalet 7612Copenhagen ØDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Palliative Medicine and Department of AnaesthesiologyRWTH Aachen University HospitalAachenGermany
  3. 3.National Institute of Public HealthCopenhagen KDenmark
  4. 4.Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative GroupDBCG SecretariatCopenhagenDenmark
  5. 5.Department of Palliative MedicineBispebjerg HospitalCopenhagen NVDenmark
  6. 6.Institute of Public Health, Department of Health Services ResearchUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen KDenmark
  7. 7.Department of Surgery PAarhus University HospitalAarhus CDenmark