Patients' perceptions of health-related quality of life during and after adjuvant radiotherapy for T1N0M0 breast cancer

P. Sundaresan, L. Sullivan, S.C. Pendlebury, A. Kirby, A. Rodger, David Joseph, I.D. Campbell, H.M. Dhillon, M.R. Stockler

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Aims: The effects of radiotherapy on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) may influence decisions about adjuvant radiotherapy after breast-conserving surgery. We sought women's ratings of HRQOL during and after radiotherapy.

    Materials and Methods: Women completed HRQOL measures before, during and after adjuvant radiotherapy for node-negative, hormone receptor-positive breast cancers that were less than 2cm in size. Acute and late toxicities were rated by clinicians.

    Results: There were 161 participants with a median age of 58 years (range 34-82). Mean scores for most aspects of HRQOL worsened only slightly during radiotherapy and improved to baseline levels or better within a few months. The symptoms rated as most distressing were: difficulty sleeping (29%), fatigue (23%), breast discolouration (21%), uncertainty about the future (18%), feeling sad or depressed (18%), feeling anxious or worried (19%). Most rated their experience as better (39%) or much better (28%) than expected. Grade 3 toxicities were rare (5% acute, 1% late) with no grade 4 toxicities.

    Conclusions: Radiotherapy was associated with transient and generally mild impairments in a few aspects of HRQOL. Concerns about adverse effects on HRQOL should not weigh heavily on decisions about adjuvant breast radiotherapy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)9-15
    JournalClinical Oncology
    Volume27
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015

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