Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 167, Issue 2, pp 537–545 | Cite as

Predictors of the quality of life in Chinese breast cancer survivors

  • Juan Xia
  • Zheng Tang
  • Qinglong Deng
  • Renren Yang
  • Jiwei WangEmail author
  • Jinming YuEmail author



Little is known about the importance of various factors which impair the quality of life (QOL) in survivors of breast cancer 1 year after diagnosis and over 1 year after diagnosis in China. Hence, the goal of this article is to quantitatively evaluate the factors which play an active role in impairing QOL 1 year after diagnosis and over 1 year after diagnosing survivors.


A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted at 34 Cancer Recovery Clubs across China from May 2014 to January 2015. The simplified Chinese version of the Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 items (EORTC QLQ-C30) and the Breast Cancer-specific module QLQ-23 were used to measure QOL in 10794 Chinese women with breast cancer (1 year after diagnosis: 1029, over 1 year after diagnosis: 9765). Forward stepwise multivariable regression analysis was used to identify the most predictive factors for limitations on QOL. Partial R 2 values were calculated to appraise the independent proportion of explained variance within QOL by each factor included in the model.


The participants had higher scores of role functioning, sexual function, sexual enjoyment, and financial difficulties. The uppermost predictors of functional status and QOL were financial difficulties and fatigue for the 1 year after diagnosis, respectively, and fatigue, financial difficulties, and systemic side effects for the long-term survivors. These symptoms explained approximately 28–53% of the variability within the function scores and QOL expect for sexual enjoyment and sexual functioning. Although sociodemographic and clinical factors had a relative importance to sexual function and sexual enjoyment, they were even smaller and had less of an impact on other dimensions.


People who were more active and had an optimistic attitude towards life had relatively higher function scores. For the breast cancer patients 1 year after diagnosis, reducing the burden of fatigue might be a more preferable way to improve their functional status and QOL. Nevertheless, focusing on fatigue symptoms and systemic therapy side effects synchronously may present an especially worthwhile endeavor to enhance the long-term survivors’ functional status and QOL.


Breast cancer 1 year after diagnosis Long-term survivors QOL Impact 



We thank the study participants and the research staff for their contribution to this project.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Clinical Epidemiology, Key Laboratory of Public Health Safety, Ministry of Education, Key Lab of Health Technology Assessment of Ministry of Health, School of Public HealthFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Cancer Invasion of Ministry of Education, Department of Liver Surgery, Liver Cancer Institute, Zhongshan HospitalFudan UniversityShanghaiChina

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