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Long-term quality of life after breast cancer: a French registry-based controlled study

  • Epidemiology
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Population-based studies on quality of life (QOL) of long-term breast cancer survivors are quite recent and insufficient attention has been paid to the effect of time since diagnosis. We compared long-term QOL of population-based breast cancer survivors 5, 10, and 15 years after diagnosis with that of healthy controls. Breast cancer survivors were randomly selected from three population-based cancer registries (Bas-Rhin, Calvados and Doubs, France) along with healthy controls, stratified for age and place of residence, randomly selected from electoral rolls. Participants completed five self-administered questionnaires: the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30), Short Form-36 (SF-36), Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI) and a life conditions questionnaire. An analysis of variance was used to compare QOL scores of breast cancer survivors by period (5, 10, or 15 years) of diagnosis with those of controls, adjusted for sociodemographic data and comorbidities. Six hundred and fifty-two cases and 1,188 controls participated in the study. For many QOL scales, scores were significantly different between cancer survivors and controls. A clinically significant difference was evidenced for the fatigue scales, the SF36 physical functioning, role-physical, and role-emotional scales, with more favorable results for controls. Differences decreased with time and 15-year cancer survivors were generally not different from controls. Scores were particularly influenced by age and mean household income. More efforts should be made, specifically during the first 5 to 10 years after diagnosis, to help women with breast cancer to overcome their impairment in QOL.

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This research is supported by grants from the French hospital research programme (Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique), the “Fondation de France”, the “Ligue Contre le Cancer du Doubs” and the “Institut National du Cancer”. The authors wish to thank all the physicians from the three cancer registries areas who kindly agreed to ask cases they had treated to participate in the study.

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Correspondence to Michel Velten.

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Klein, D., Mercier, M., Abeilard, E. et al. Long-term quality of life after breast cancer: a French registry-based controlled study. Breast Cancer Res Treat 129, 125–134 (2011).

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