Article

Quality of Life Research

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 1467-1479

Population-based study of the relationship of treatment and sociodemographics on quality of life for early stage breast cancer

  • Nancy K. JanzAffiliated withDepartment of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan Email author 
  • , Mahasin MujahidAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan
  • , Paula M. LantzAffiliated withDepartment of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan
  • , Angela FagerlinAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Health SystemVeterans Affairs, Ann Arbor Healthcare System
  • , Barbara SalemAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Health System
  • , Monica MorrowAffiliated withDepartment of Surgical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • , Dennis DeapenAffiliated withDepartment of Preventive Medicine, KECK School of Medicine, University of Southern California
  • , Steven J. KatzAffiliated withDepartment of Health Management and Policy, University of MichiganDepartment of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Health SystemVeterans Affairs, Ann Arbor Healthcare System

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Abstract

Objective: To examine the relationship between cancer stage, surgical treatment and chemotherapy on quality of life (QOL) after breast cancer and determine if sociodemographic characteristics modify the observed relationships. Methods: A population-based sample of women with Stages 0–II breast cancer in the United States (N=1357) completed surveys including the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30), and the Breast Cancer-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ BR-23). Regression models calculated mean QOL scores across primary surgical treatment and chemotherapy. Clinically significant differences in QOL were defined as 10 point difference (out of 100) between groups. Results: Meaningful differences in QOL by surgical treatment were limited to body image with women receiving mastectomy with reconstruction reporting lower scores than women receiving breast conserving surgery (p < 0.001). Chemotherapy lowered QOL scores overall across four QOL dimensions (p values < 0.001), with a disproportionately greater impact on those with lower levels of education. Younger women reported lower QOL scores for seven of nine QOL dimensions (p values < 0.001). Conclusions: Women should be reassured that few QOL differences exist based on surgical treatment, however, clinicians should recognize that the impact of treatment on QOL does vary by a woman’s age and educational level.

Keywords

Breast cancer Quality of life Psychosocial