Breast Cancer

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 664–669 | Cite as

Psychosocial distress among young breast cancer survivors: implications for healthcare providers

Special Feature Breast cancer in young women: Issues and perspectives regarding patients' and survivors' care

Abstract

Breast cancer (BC) experiences foster serious psychosocial problems among young survivors. Previous studies have repeatedly discussed younger age as a factor that puts women with BC at higher risk of psychosocial distress. Although most BC survivors receive the necessary information from healthcare providers on treatment options and procedures at diagnosis, they often fail to receive support and guidance after acute treatment has completed in dealing with the possible physical, emotional, social, and psychological effects of cancer. This article discusses common psychosocial problems experienced by young BC survivors, such as issues related to interpersonal relationships, sexuality, fertility, and employment. In particular, it examines influences of the Japanese sociocultural background on young survivors’ distress and considers the clinical implications for Japanese healthcare. The importance of integrating psychosocial care with routine oncology care cannot be overemphasized.

Keywords

Young survivor Interpersonal relationships Sexuality Fertility Employment 

References

  1. 1.
    Ganz PA. Psychological and social aspects of breast cancer. Oncology. 2008;22:642–6.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Schag CA, Ganz PA, Polinsky ML, Fred C, Hirji K, Petersen L. Characteristics of women at risk for psychosocial distress in the year after breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 1993;11:783–93.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Maunsell E, Brisson J, Deschênes L. Psychological distress after initial treatment of breast cancer. Assessment of potential risk factors. Cancer. 1992;70:120–5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Maunsell E, Brisson J, Deschênes L. Social support and survival among women with breast cancer. Cancer. 1995;6:631–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ganz PA, Hirji K, Sim MS, Schag CA, Fred C, Polinsky ML. Predicting psychosocial risk in patients with breast cancer. Med Care. 1993;1:419–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Shimozuma K, Ganz PA, Petersen L, Hirji K. Quality of life in the first year after breast cancer surgery: rehabilitation needs and patterns of recovery. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1999;6:45–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Schover LR. Sexuality and body image in younger women with breast cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 1994;6:177–82.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ganz PA, Lee JJ, Sim MS, Polinsky ML, Schag CA. Exploring the influence of multiple variables on the relationship of age to quality of life in women with breast cancer. J Clin Epidemiol. 1992;5:473–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gorman JR, Malcarne VL, Roesch SC, Madlensky L, Pierce JP. Depressive symptoms among young breast cancer survivors: the importance of reproductive concerns. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010;23:477–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dunn J, Steginga SK. Young women’s experience of breast cancer: defining young and identifying concerns. Psychooncology. 2000;9:137–46.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wong-Kim EC, Bloom JR. Depression experienced by young women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Psychooncology. 2005;4:564–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bloom JR, Kessler L. Risk and timing of counseling and support interventions for younger women with breast cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 1994;6:199–206.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bloom JR, Stewart SL, Johnston M, Banks P, Fobair P. Sources of support and the physical and mental well-being of young women with breast cancer. Soc Sci Med. 2001;3:1513–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Burgess C, Cornelius V, Love S, Graham J, Richards M, Ramirez A. Depression and anxiety in women with early breast cancer: 5 year observational cohort study. BMJ. 2005;330:702.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Takahashi M, Miyashita M. Psychosocial distress and support needs among young women with breast cancer. Paper presented at the 16th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Breast Cancer Society, Osaka, 26 Sept 2008.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Northouse LL, Peters-Golden H. Cancer and the Family: strategies to assist spouses. Semin Oncol Nurs. 1993;2:74–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wellisch DK, Jamison KR, Pasnau RO. Psychosocial aspects of mastectomy: II. The man’s perspective. Am J Psychiatry. 1978;35:543–6.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Saeki T, Yamawaki S. Psychological care for breast cancer patients and their families. Rinsho Kango. 2003;9:1051–7.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Takahashi M, Tagaya N, Muto T, Kai I, Kakuta M, Yoshino M. Psychosocial adjustment among breast cancer survivors: interrelationship of a couple. Research report of The Grant-in-Aid for cancer Research (H22-Ippan-008) Building a comprehensive employment support system for working patients with cancer and their family members. 2012, p 89–137.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Baider L, Kaplan De-Nour A. Adjustment to cancer: who is the patient—the husband or the wife? Isr J Med Sci. 1988;4:631–6.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Oberst MT, Scott DW. Postdischarge distress in surgically treated cancer patients and their spouses. Res Nurs Health. 1988;1:223–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Dorval M, Maunsell E, Taylor-Brown J, Kilpatrick M. Marital stability after breast cancer. J Nat Cancer Inst. 1999;1:54–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Dorval M, Guay S, Mondor M, Masse B, Falardeau M, Robidoux A, et al. Couples who get closer after breast cancer: frequency and predictors in a prospective investigation. J Clin Oncol. 2005;315:3588–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Takahashi M, Ohno S, Inoue H, Kataoka A, Yamaguchi H, Uchida Y, et al. Impact of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment on women’s sexuality: a survey of Japanese patients. Psychooncology. 2008;7:901–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Visser A, Huizinga GA, van der Graaf WTA, Hoekstra HJ, Hoekstra-Weebers J. The impact of parental cancer on children and the family: a review of the literature. Cancer Treat Rev. 2004;30:683–94.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ozawa M. Current situation of cancer patients and their children. Shoni Hoken Kenkyu. 2013;72:217–9.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Takahashi M. How mothers with breast cancer explain the illness to their children—a qualitative study. Research report of The Grant-in-Aid for Third Term Comprehensive 10-year Strategy for Cancer Control (H19-Ippan-035) 2009, p 24–39.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kobayashi M. How to explain children about parental cancer. Gan Kango. 2013;18:57–61.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Takahashi M, Kai I. Sexuality after breast cancer treatment; changes and coping among Japanese survivors. Soc Sci Med. 2005;61:1278–90.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Schover LR. Sexuality and fertility after cancer. New York: Wiley; 1997.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Takahashi M, Kai I, Kai I, Hisata M, Higashi Y. Attitudes and practices of breast cancer consultations regarding sexual issues: a nationwide survey of Japanese breast surgeons. J Clin Oncol. 2006;24:5763–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Howard-Anderson J, Ganz PA, Bower JE, Stanton AL. Quality of life, fertility concerns, and behavioral health outcomes in younger breast cancer survivors: a systematic review. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012;104:386–405.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Shimizu C, Bando H, Kato T, Mizota Y, Yamamoto S, Fujiwara Y. Physicians’ knowledge, attitude, and behavior regarding fertility issues for young breast cancer patients: a national survey for breast care specialists. Breast Cancer. 2013;20:230–40.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Park J-H, Park E-C, Park J-H, Kim S-G, Lee S-Y. Job loss and re-employment of cancer patients in Korean employees: a nationwide retrospective cohort study. J Clin Oncol. 2008;26:1302–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Peuckmann V, Ekholm O, Sjøgren P, Rasmussen NK, Christiansen P, Møller S, et al. Health care utilisation and characteristics of long-term breast cancer survivors: nationwide survey in Denmark. Eur J Cancer. 2009;45:625–33.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Cancer incidence by age and site. Center for Cancer Control and Information Services, National Cancer Center, Japan (Estimates based on population-based cancer registry). http://ganjoho.jp/professional/statistics/statistics.html. Accessed 3 Dec 2013.
  37. 37.
    Saito N, Takahashi M, Sairenchi T, Muto T. The impact of breast cancer on employment among Japanese women. J Occup Health. 2013 (in press).Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Ahn E, Cho J, Shin DW, Park BW, Ahn SH, Noh DY, et al. Impact of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment on work-related life and factors affecting them. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2009;116:609–16.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Hoving JL, Broekhuizen ML, Frings-Dresen MH. Return to work of breast cancer survivors: a systematic review of intervention studies. BMC Cancer. 2009;9:117.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    de Boer AG, Taskila T, Ojajärvi A, van Dijk FJ, Verbeek JH. Cancer survivors and unemployment: a meta-analysis and meta-regression. JAMA. 2009;301:753–62.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Labour force survey. http://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/roudou/index.htm. Accessed 3 Dec 2013.
  42. 42.
    Mehnert A. Employment and work-related issues in cancer survivors. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2011;77:109–30.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Avis NE, Crawford S, Manuel J. Quality of life among younger women with breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2005;23:3322–30.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Easley J, Miedema B. Rehabilitation after breast cancer: recommendations from young survivors. Rehabil Nurs. 2012;37:163–70.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Portal site for young survivors with breast cancer in Japan. http://www.jakunen.com/index.html. Accessed 3 Dec 2013.
  46. 46.
    Frequently asked questions for working cancer survivors. http://www.cancer-work.jp/tool/index.html. Accessed 3 Dec 2013.
  47. 47.
    Japan Society for Fertility Preservation website. http://www.j-sfp.org/. Accessed 3 Dec 2013.
  48. 48.
    Cancer Survivorship Recruiting Project website. http://workingsurvivors.org/. Accessed 3 Dec 2013.

Copyright information

© The Japanese Breast Cancer Society 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cancer Survivorship Research Division, Center for Cancer Control and Information ServicesNational Cancer CenterTokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations