Quarterly scientific journal

Study for the change of health-related quality of life in women with early stage breast cancer, one year after the diagnosis

Georgia Fasoi , Martha Kelesi-Stavropoulou , Vasiliki Koutsopoulou-Sofikiti , Eleni Theodosopoulou , Konstantinos Birbas , Theofanis Katostaras

Abstract
Health - related quality of life of women with breast cancer is defined as the subjective evaluation of the effect of the disease and its treatment to physical, psychological and social level of functioning and well-being. The aim of the present study was to estimate the change of health- related quality of life at patients with early- stage breast cancer one year after the diagnosis and the initial therapeutic intervention. Material – method: The material of the study was 181 patients age between 28 to 88 years with breast cancer stage II. The entry criteria were: 1) females with breast cancer stage II, who would have been in need of adjuvant therapy after the initial operational intervention. 2) Moreover, they should not have been hospitalized for the same reason in the past and they should have a satisfying ability in communication. The data collection was made with the use of the QLQ C-30 questionnaire of the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) in association with the module for the breast cancer (module Br23).The data collection was realized through interviews conducted by the researchers at two different time points: at the diagnosis point and the one year after the diagnosis. It was an easy sample. Results: To sum up, health- related quality of life was estimated as worse in the first year after diagnosis and the initial therapeutic intervention. Furthermore, remarkable was, the deterioration of symptoms (fatigue, pain, nausea, sleep loss, appetite loss, constipation, dyspnoea). The deterioration was also visible to the patients’ body image and to the treatment side effects of adjuvant therapies. Conclusions: The breast cancer influences negatively health- related quality of life in patients with early stage breast cancer. After the completion of the adjuvant therapies, there are major problems like fatigue, pain and aggravated body image, which make patients suffer. The altered body image provokes stress and female patients with breast cancer need support. The sexual functioning is also being influenced negatively due to the changed body image. The financial difficulties are an additional aspect to the already deteriorated situation.

Keywords: Early stage breast cancer, health related quality of life, adjuvant therapies

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