"The choice and timing of therapeutic interventions may significantly affect the quality of life of young breast cancer survivors in the short term, although other quality-of-life domains such as family relationships may not be negatively impacted after treatment. These findings were reported by Marie Catherine Lee, MD, and colleagues at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida, in a recent issue of the American Journal of Surgery.
The investigators examined the short-term quality-of-life impairment of 300 premenopausal patients with breast cancer, who were diagnosed before the age of 50 years. Areas of focus included self-perception, views on their sexuality, impact of surgical and oncologic treatment, femininity, and changes in relationships with partners and other family members. All of the women were at least 6 months from their last curative treatment (except for ongoing hormone therapy).
Survey questionnaires—which included 50 validated questions from other tools and 13 new, unvalidated quality-of-life items—were sent to all 300 women, and nearly 50% responded. Eight domain clusters centered on family/social network, appearance, relationships, sexuality, work/finances, physical symptoms, distress, and life with breast cancer. Other questions focused on demographics and treatment, and the investigators collected specific treatment data from electronic medical records for correlation with patient-reported information."