Backgrounds: Quality of life (QoL) has become a major concern as the survival time of breast cancer increases. We investigated the changes in QoL through comprehensive categorical analysis, for the first three years after breast cancer treatment including radiotherapy. Methods: A total of 1156 patients were enrolled from 17 institutions. All survivors were grouped according to a surveillance period of 9-15 months (first year), 21-27 months (second year), and 33-39 months (third year) from the end of radiotherapy. The 5-dimensional questionnaire by the EuroQol group (EQ-5D) and the EORTC Quality of Life Questionnaire; breast cancer specific module (QLQ-BR23) were checked by self-administrated method. Results: First, second and third year groups comprised 51.0, 28.9, and 21.0%. In EQ-5D-3 L (3-Likert scale) analysis, pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression categories showed lower QoL. In multivariate analyses of EQ-5D-VAS (visual-analogue scale), categories of pain/discomfort and self-care were improved with time; axillary dissection was a significant clinical factor deteriorates pain/discomfort, self-care and usual activities. In QLQ-BR23 analysis, the lowest scored category was sexual activity, followed by sexual enjoyment, future perspective, and hair loss, and the best scored category was breast symptoms. In multivariate analyses, arm symptoms, breast symptoms and body image were improved with time. Conclusions: Categories of pain/discomfort and self-care in EQ-5D-VAS, arm/breast symptoms and body image in QLQ-BR23 were improved, while categories of anxiety/depression and future perspective BR23 were not, suggesting necessity of psychosocial support. This research provides comprehensive information on the categorical aspects of QoL and changes during early follow-up after breast cancer treatment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health