Physical and psychosocial recovery in the year after primary treatment of breast cancer.

TitlePhysical and psychosocial recovery in the year after primary treatment of breast cancer.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsGanz PA, Kwan L, Stanton AL, Bower JE, Belin TR
JournalJ Clin Oncol
Date Published2011 Mar 20
KeywordsAdaptation, Psychological, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Breast Neoplasms, Chemotherapy, Adjuvant, Female, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Middle Aged, Prognosis, Prospective Studies, Quality of Life, Surveys and Questionnaires

PURPOSE: The 2000 National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference on Adjuvant Therapy of Breast Cancer recommended chemotherapy for all women with invasive cancer greater than 1 centimeter. Studies of long-term breast cancer survivors have found poorer quality of life (QOL) in women who received adjuvant chemotherapy. The aim of this article is to characterize physical and psychosocial recovery as a function of chemotherapy receipt in the year after medical treatment completion.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Prospective longitudinal survey data (RAND SF-36 and Breast Cancer Prevention Trial [BCPT] Symptom Scales) collected from 558 women with breast cancer enrolled on the Moving Beyond Cancer (MBC) psychoeducational intervention trial were compared according to receipt of chemotherapy. MBC study enrollment occurred within 4 weeks after the end of primary treatment (eg, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation). Self-report questionnaire data collected at enrollment and at 2, 6, and 12 months thereafter were examined, controlling for intervention and with propensity score adjustment for imbalance of covariates. Outcome analyses were carried out by fitting linear mixed models by using SAS PROC MIXED.

RESULTS: Longitudinal SF-36 scale scores did not differ by chemotherapy treatment exposure, and both groups improved significantly (P < .01) in the year after primary treatment ended. However, adjuvant chemotherapy treatment was associated with significantly more severe physical symptoms, including musculoskeletal pain (P = .01), vaginal problems (P < .01), weight problems (P = .01), and nausea (P = .03).

CONCLUSION: Physical and psychosocial functioning improved significantly after breast cancer treatment, independent of receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy. Women who received chemotherapy experienced more severe and persistent physical symptoms that should be more effectively managed as part of survivorship care.

Alternate JournalJ. Clin. Oncol.
PubMed ID21300931
PubMed Central IDPMC3083865
Grant ListR01-CA63028 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States