Quality of life in elderly breast cancer patients with localized disease receiving endocrine treatment: a prospective study

  • J. I. ArrarasEmail author
  • J. J. Illarramendi
  • A. Manterola
  • G. Asin
  • E. Salgado
  • P. Arrondo
  • M. A. Dominguez
  • V. Arrazubi
  • E. Martinez
  • A. Viudez
  • S. de la Cruz
  • R. Vera
Research Article



In this paper we study the quality of life (QoL) of elderly breast cancer patients receiving endocrine treatment (ET). More QoL data on elderly patients treated with ET are needed. Our aims are to study QoL in early-stage breast cancer patients throughout the treatment period and compare the QoL of ET groups.


148 patients > 65 years who began ET with either tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitor (AI) completed the EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-BR23 and the Interview for Deterioration in Daily Living Activities in Dementia (IDDD) questionnaires three times over 3 years of ET. Linear mixed-effect models were used to evaluate longitudinal QoL changes. ET group comparisons were conducted after 3 years of treatment via ANCOVA adjusted by basal QoL.


QoL scores were high (> 80/100 points) in most QoL areas, with moderate limitations (> 30) in sexual functioning and enjoyment and in future perspective. After 3 years of ET, four QoL areas improved (< 6 points) compared to baseline and 3-month assessments. Hot flushes worsened (8 points) at the 3-month assessment but by 3 years had recovered. AI patients showed more hot flushes, pain and diarrhea and less sexual enjoyment than tamoxifen patients after 3 years of ET (differences 3–12 points).


Results indicate that elderly early-stage breast cancer patients adapted well to their disease and ET treatment over the 3 years. Few QoL differences were observed between ET groups.


Quality of life Elderly Endocrine treatment Breast cancer EORTC 



We thank all professionals at the Oncology Departments of the Complejo Hospitalario de Navarra for their support in this study.


This study was supported by grants from the Instituto Carlos III and FEDER (project P115/02114), Fundación Caja Navarra, Fundación Obra Social “La Caixa” and UNED Pamplona for a research assistant who collected the data.

Compliance ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This study was approved by Regional Ethics Committee for Biomedical Research and followed the recommendations of the Declaration of Helsinki.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Federación de Sociedades Españolas de Oncología (FESEO) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. I. Arraras
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • J. J. Illarramendi
    • 1
  • A. Manterola
    • 2
  • G. Asin
    • 2
  • E. Salgado
    • 1
  • P. Arrondo
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. A. Dominguez
    • 2
  • V. Arrazubi
    • 1
  • E. Martinez
    • 2
  • A. Viudez
    • 1
  • S. de la Cruz
    • 1
  • R. Vera
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical Oncology DepartmentComplejo Hospitalario de NavarraPamplonaSpain
  2. 2.Radiotherapeutic Oncology DepartmentComplejo Hospitalario de NavarraPamplonaSpain

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