Impact of radiotherapy on the quality of life of elderly patients with localized breast cancer. A prospective study

  • Juan Ignacio ArrarasEmail author
  • Ana Manterola
  • Miguel Ángel Domínguez
  • Fernando Arias
  • Elena Villafranca
  • Pilar Romero
  • Enrique Martínez
  • José Juan Illarramendi
  • Esteban Salgado
Research Articles



There are few studies on the effect on quality of life (QL) of cancer-related illness and treatment in elderly patients. The aim of this work was to evaluate prospectively QL in a sample of elderly patients with stages I–III breast cancer who started radiotherapy treatment and compare their QL with that of a sample of younger patients.

Materials and methods

Forty-eight patients, ≥ 65 years of age completed the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QL questionnaires QLQ-C30 and QLQ-BR23, and the Interview for Deterioration in Daily Living Activities in Dementia (IDDD) daily activities scale three times throughout treatment and follow-up periods. Clinical and demographic data were also recorded. Fifty patients ages 40–64 years with the same disease stage and treatment modality had previously completed the QL questionnaires. QL scores, changes in them among the three assessments, differences between groups based on clinical factors, and differences between the two samples were calculated.


QL scoring was good and stable (> 70/100 points) in most areas, in line with clinical data. Light and moderate limitations occurred in global QL and some emotional, sexual, and treatment-related areas. Moderate decreases (10–20) appeared in some toxicity-related areas, which recovered during the follow-up period. Breast-conservation and sentinel-node patients presented higher scores in emotional areas. There were few QL differences among age-based samples.


QL and clinical data indicate radiotherapy was well tolerated. Age should not be the only factor evaluated when deciding upon treatment for breast cancer patients.


Quality of life Breast cancer Elderly Radiotherapy Assessment 


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Copyright information

© Feseo 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Ignacio Arraras
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ana Manterola
    • 1
  • Miguel Ángel Domínguez
    • 1
  • Fernando Arias
    • 1
  • Elena Villafranca
    • 1
  • Pilar Romero
    • 1
  • Enrique Martínez
    • 1
  • José Juan Illarramendi
    • 2
  • Esteban Salgado
    • 2
  1. 1.Radiotherapeutic Oncology DepartmentHospital of NavarrePamplonaSpain
  2. 2.Medical Oncology DepartmentHospital of NavarrePamplonaSpain

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