Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 120, Issue 3, pp 685–691 | Cite as

Psychological distress and physical health in the year after diagnosis of DCIS or invasive breast cancer

  • Sophie Lauzier
  • Elizabeth Maunsell
  • Pascale Levesque
  • Myrto Mondor
  • Jean Robert
  • André Robidoux
  • Louise Provencher


Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) has an excellent prognosis, but its management can resemble that of early invasive breast cancer. We compared aspects of quality of life of women with DCIS to that of women with invasive disease during the first year after treatment initiation. Participants came from consecutive series of women with newly diagnosed, non-metastatic breast cancer treated in eight Quebec hospitals in 2003. Psychological distress and health-related quality of life were measured using the Psychiatric Symptom Index (PSI) and the SF-12 mental and physical component scales (MCS, PCS). Data were obtained 1, 6, and 12 months after the start of treatment. We used generalized linear models to compare mean scores and explored the possible clinical significance of between-group differences with effect size (ES). Participation and retention among eligible women were high, 86 and 97%, respectively. Among the 800 women who completed all interviews, 13.4% (n = 107) had DCIS and 86.6% (693) invasive disease. No statistically significant between-group differences were found at 1, 6, or 12 months in psychological state (PSI and MCS: P values from 0.065 to 0.904; ES from −0.01 to −0.21). Women with DCIS reported significantly higher levels of physical health, particularly when compared at 1 month to women with invasive disease who had chemotherapy (P value < 0.0001; ES = 0.82). Measured in symptoms of psychological distress, the better prognosis or less aggressive management of DCIS does not offset the general psychological effects of a cancer diagnosis to any great degree.


Breast cancer Ductal carcinoma in situ Psychological adaptation Health-related quality of life Psychological distress 



This work was supported by competitive funding from Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance [grants #010318, #013324, #017317]; Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux du Québec; Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR: Investigator award for E.M, Ph.D. Fellowship Award for S.L.); Fondation de l’Université Laval (Ph.D. Fellowship Award for S.L.) and CIHR-funded Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research (STIHR) Psychosocial Oncology Research Training program (PORT) (Post-doctoral Fellowship Award for SL). We thank the women and caregivers who participated in the different phases of the Family Costs of Breast Cancer Study, and the study coordinator, interviewers, data manager, statisticians, and the members of the Family Costs of Breast Cancer Clinician Collaborators Group.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sophie Lauzier
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Elizabeth Maunsell
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Pascale Levesque
    • 1
  • Myrto Mondor
    • 1
  • Jean Robert
    • 1
    • 2
  • André Robidoux
    • 5
  • Louise Provencher
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Unité de recherche en santé des populations, Hôpital du Saint-SacrementCentre de recherche du Centre hospitalier affilé universitaire de QuébecQuébecCanada
  2. 2.Centre des maladies du sein Deschênes-FabiaCentre hospitalier affilé universitaire de QuébecQuébecCanada
  3. 3.School of NursingMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada
  4. 4.Département de médecine sociale et préventive, Faculté de médecineUniversité Laval, QuébecQuébecCanada
  5. 5.Centre intégré du cancer du seinCentre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, Hôpital Notre-DameMontréalCanada

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