The impact of health symptoms on health-related quality of life in early-stage breast cancer survivors

K. M. de Ligt, M. Heins, J. Verloop, N. P.M. Ezendam, C. H. Smorenburg, J. C. Korevaar, S. Siesling

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Abstract

Purpose: In breast cancer patients, treatment-related health symptoms can occur that may affect their health-related quality of life (HRQoL). This study aimed to determine the impact of health symptoms on HRQoL in breast cancer patients up to 5 years after diagnosis. Methods: Females surgically treated for early-stage breast cancer diagnosed between 2012 and 2016 (n = 876) were selected from the Netherlands Cancer Registry and invited for a survey about current health symptoms (‘Symptoms and Perceptions questionnaire’, SaP) and HRQoL (‘EORTC-QLQ-C30’). From the latter, functioning and global health were included. Mean scores were compared to norm population scores (T test). Multivariable linear regression analyses were performed to determine the association between health symptoms and global health and functioning. Results: 404 patients (46%) responded. The median age was 62.2 ± 10.9 years. Respondents had significantly lower mean scores for role, cognitive, emotional, and social functioning than the general population. The most frequently reported health symptoms were musculoskeletal (including pain/complaints in lower/upper extremities/back/neck; 71%) and central nervous system symptoms (including concentration impairment, dizziness, neuralgia; 66%), and fatigue (63%). While most symptoms affected functioning, irrespective of time since diagnosis, especially fatigue, musculoskeletal, central nervous system, and gastrointestinal symptoms were significantly associated (p < 0.05) with lower functioning. Conclusions: The majority of health symptoms that occur after breast cancer treatment were associated with lower functioning of patients in daily life. This paper urges healthcare providers to support breast cancer patients in alleviating or coping with health symptoms, even years after end of treatment, to improve their functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-711
Number of pages9
JournalBreast cancer research and treatment
Volume178
Issue number3
Early online date11 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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Survivors
Quality of Life
Breast Neoplasms
Health
Fatigue
Central Nervous System
Musculoskeletal Pain
Dizziness
Neuralgia
Health Personnel
Netherlands
Population
Registries
Lower Extremity
Linear Models
Neck
Therapeutics
Regression Analysis
Surveys and Questionnaires
Neoplasms

Keywords

  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Breast neoplasms
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Late effects
  • Survivorship
  • Aftercare

Cite this

de Ligt, K. M. ; Heins, M. ; Verloop, J. ; Ezendam, N. P.M. ; Smorenburg, C. H. ; Korevaar, J. C. ; Siesling, S. / The impact of health symptoms on health-related quality of life in early-stage breast cancer survivors. In: Breast cancer research and treatment. 2019 ; Vol. 178, No. 3. pp. 703-711.
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abstract = "Purpose: In breast cancer patients, treatment-related health symptoms can occur that may affect their health-related quality of life (HRQoL). This study aimed to determine the impact of health symptoms on HRQoL in breast cancer patients up to 5 years after diagnosis. Methods: Females surgically treated for early-stage breast cancer diagnosed between 2012 and 2016 (n = 876) were selected from the Netherlands Cancer Registry and invited for a survey about current health symptoms (‘Symptoms and Perceptions questionnaire’, SaP) and HRQoL (‘EORTC-QLQ-C30’). From the latter, functioning and global health were included. Mean scores were compared to norm population scores (T test). Multivariable linear regression analyses were performed to determine the association between health symptoms and global health and functioning. Results: 404 patients (46{\%}) responded. The median age was 62.2 ± 10.9 years. Respondents had significantly lower mean scores for role, cognitive, emotional, and social functioning than the general population. The most frequently reported health symptoms were musculoskeletal (including pain/complaints in lower/upper extremities/back/neck; 71{\%}) and central nervous system symptoms (including concentration impairment, dizziness, neuralgia; 66{\%}), and fatigue (63{\%}). While most symptoms affected functioning, irrespective of time since diagnosis, especially fatigue, musculoskeletal, central nervous system, and gastrointestinal symptoms were significantly associated (p < 0.05) with lower functioning. Conclusions: The majority of health symptoms that occur after breast cancer treatment were associated with lower functioning of patients in daily life. This paper urges healthcare providers to support breast cancer patients in alleviating or coping with health symptoms, even years after end of treatment, to improve their functioning.",
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The impact of health symptoms on health-related quality of life in early-stage breast cancer survivors. / de Ligt, K. M.; Heins, M.; Verloop, J.; Ezendam, N. P.M.; Smorenburg, C. H.; Korevaar, J. C.; Siesling, S.

In: Breast cancer research and treatment, Vol. 178, No. 3, 01.12.2019, p. 703-711.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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