Breast Specific Pain Affects QOL After Treatment

Breast Specific Pain Affects Quality Of Life After Treatment

Cancer 2001; 91: 2273-2281

"Form or function? Part 1. Subjective cosmetic and functional correlates of quality of life in women treated with breast-conserving surgical procedures and radiotherapy"

By James Adams

Breast specific pain influences patient quality of life following breast-conserving surgical treatment and radiotherapy.

Depressive symptoms increase and quality of life in relation to mental and physical health decrease in patients with greater breast specific pain, according to investigators from the University of Kansas in Lawrence and the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, United States.

"Although considerable research on treatment-relevant outcomes has addressed appearance-related concerns," say investigators, "functional parameters have not been explored fully."

Medical charts of 185 women who underwent breast-conserving surgical treatment and radiotherapy for Stage 0 to II disease were reviewed. The women also completed assessments of perceived cosmetic and functional treatment outcomes, quality of life and background information. Duration of diagnosis ranged from three months to 18 years.

Functional status, breast specific pain and cosmetic status subscales were produced using the Breast Cancer Treatment Outcome Scale (BCTOS). These subscales showed predictive validity.

Cosmetic status was related to physical health quality of life.

Greater breast specific pain was predictive of more depressive symptoms and reduced mental and physical health quality of life. These relationships showed some variability depending on duration of diagnosis.

Ann'S NOTE: I particularly liked the quote in which he pointed out that lots of studies have been done on appearance issues but few on "functional parameters".

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