Background: Although most of the literature about health-related quality of life (HRQoL) focuses on breast cancer patients, few studies compared the HRQoL in disease-free breast cancer survivors with that of the general population. Materials and methods: We administered the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 and Quality of Life Questionnaire Breast Cancer Module, McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory, and Brief Fatigue Inventory to 1933 disease-free survivors for over 1 year after being diagnosed with stage 0 to III breast cancer. We performed multivariate-adjusted analyses in all HRQoL comparisons. Results: The scores for some HRQoL scales were comparable for both disease-free breast cancer survivors and the general female population; however, there was clinically significant difference in cognitive and social functioning, fatigue, insomnia, and financial difficulties between the two groups. Radiotherapy and systemic adjuvant therapy variables did not limit the HRQoL. Demographic characteristics such as age, time since surgery, and comorbidity were associated with some HRQoL scales and fatigue and depression were associated with almost all HRQoL scales. Conclusions: Disease-free survivors of breast cancer had good HRQoL, which was less affected by the type of treatment than it was by demographic characteristics, time since surgery, comorbidity, fatigue, and depression.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by National Cancer Center Grant 04101502. The authors greatly appreciate Julia H. Rowland, PhD, at the Office of Cancer Survivorship, National Cancer Institute, for providing counsel and Jeanie Woodruff at the Department of Symptom Research, MD Anderson Cancer Center for excellent editorial assistance. We also thank the many Korean breast cancer survivors who have contributed to our knowledge about life after breast cancer. We declare no potential financial conflicts of interest.
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