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UICC World Cancer Congress 2006
Bridging the Gap: Transforming Knowledge into Action
July 8-12, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Methods: We assessed QOL five years after diagnosis in a population based cohort of 387 women with breast cancer from Saarland (Germany) using the EORTC-QLC30 questionnaire and compared it with age-specific reference data from the general population in Germany.
Results: 282 out of 387 women with breast cancer survived the first five years after tumor diagnosis (72.9%). Of these, 243 participated in the follow-up survey (response rate: 86.2%). When compared with women from the general population, most women with breast cancer reported only small deficits in overall quality of life (mean score 60.8 vs. 63.4), physical (79.0 vs. 83.2) and role (79.5 vs. 81.7) functioning but poorer emotional (64.3. vs. 75.4), social (78.4. vs. 88.7) and cognitive (79.3. vs. 87.3) functioning. The differences were most pronounced among younger women. Younger women also more often than older women assessed themselves still as “cancer patients” (< 50 years: 52%; 50-65 years: 38%; > 65 years: 29%) and were more afraid of recurrence of disease (< 50 years: 53%; 50-65 years: 51%; > 65 years: 42%).
Conclusions: Women five years after diagnosis of breast cancer continue to suffer from psychosocial deficits despite an overall good global quality of life and physical health. In particular, younger women are afraid of future recurrence of disease.