Fatigue in long-term breast carcinoma survivors: a longitudinal investigation.

TitleFatigue in long-term breast carcinoma survivors: a longitudinal investigation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsBower JE, Ganz PA, Desmond KA, Bernaards C, Rowland JH, Meyerowitz BE, Belin TR
Date Published2006 Feb 15
KeywordsAged, Breast Neoplasms, Comorbidity, Depression, Fatigue, Female, Health Surveys, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Prognosis, Risk Factors

BACKGROUND: A longitudinal study was designed to evaluate the prevalence, persistence, and predictors of posttreatment fatigue in breast carcinoma survivors.

METHODS: A sample of 763 breast carcinoma survivors completed questionnaires at 1-5 and 5-10 years after diagnosis, including the RAND 36-item Health Survey, Center for Epidemiological Studies - Depression scale (CES-D), Breast Cancer Prevention Trial Symptom Checklist, and demographic and treatment-related measures.

RESULTS: Approximately 34% of study participants reported significant fatigue at 5-10 years after diagnosis, which is consistent with prevalence estimates obtained at 1-5 years after diagnosis. Approximately 21% reported fatigue at both assessment points, indicating a more persistent symptom profile. Longitudinal predictors of fatigue included depression, cardiovascular problems, and type of treatment received. Women treated with either radiation or chemotherapy alone showed a small improvement in fatigue compared with those treated with both radiation and chemotherapy.

CONCLUSIONS: Fatigue continues to be a problem for breast carcinoma survivors many years after cancer diagnosis, with 21% reporting persistent problems with fatigue. Several factors that may contribute to long-term fatigue are amenable to intervention, including depression and comorbid medical conditions.

Alternate JournalCancer
PubMed ID16400678
Grant ListK07 CA90407 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
R01CA63028 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States