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Table 11 A list of studies of quality of life and common symptoms in breast cancer patients (1974–2007)

From: Health-related quality of life in breast cancer patients: A bibliographic review of the literature from 1974 to 2007

Author (s) [Ref.] Year Main focus Results/conclusion(s)
Hann et al. [254] 1998 Fatigue following radiotherapy Women experienced fatigue but not worse than expected.
Carpenter et al. [255] 1998 Hot flushes 65% (n = 114) reported ht flushes, with 59% of women with hot flushes rating the symptom as severe; hot flushes were most severe in women with a higher body mass index, those who were younger at diagnosis, and those receiving tamoxifen.
Hann et al. [256] 1999 Fatigue after high-dose therapy and autolougous stem cell rescue Fatigue was related to medical and psychosocial factors.
Velanovich and Szymanski [257] 1999 Lymphedema Lymphedema occurred in a minority of patients and negatively affected QOL.
Bower et al. [258] 2000 Fatigue, occurrence, and correlates About one-third (n = 1957) reported more severe fatigue which was associate with higher level of depression, pain, and sleep difficulties.
Kuehn [259] 2000 Surgery related symptoms following ALND Shoulder-arm morbidity following ALND was found to be the most important long-term sources of distress.
Stein et al. [260] 2000 Hot flushes Hot flushes have a negative impact on QOL that may be due to fatigue and interference with sleep.
Beaulac et al. [261] 2002 Lymphedema in survivors of early-stage breast cancer MAS or BCS patients had similar lymphedema rates (28%–42/151) and had negative impact on long-term QOL in survivors.
Kwan et al. [262] 2002 Arm morbidity after curative breast cancer treatment Symptomatic patients and patients with lymphedema had impaired QOL compared to patients with no symptoms.
Fortner et al. [263] 2002 Sleep difficulties Most patients had significant sleep problems that frequently being disturbed by pain, nocturia, feeling too hot, and coughing or snoring loudly; patients having significant sleep problems had greater deficits in QOL.
Engel et al. [264] 2003 Arm morbidity Up to 5 years after diagnosis 38% (n = 990) were still experienced arm problems and for these patients QOL was significantly lower than patients without arm morbidity; extent of axilla, younger age, and operating clinic significantly contributed to arm morbidity.
Caffo et al. [265] 2003 Pain after surgery Pain distressed 40% of patients (n = 529) regardless of treatment type and had negative effect on patients' QOL.
Rietman et al. [266] 2004 Impairments and disabilities (2.7 years after surgery) Pain was the most frequent assessed impairment after breast cancer treatment with strong relationship to perceived disability and QOL.
Schults et al. [267] 2005 Menopausal symptoms Menopausal signs and symptoms may not be different or the breast cancer survivors and they should not be confused with the QOL/psychosocial issues of the cancer survivors.
Ridner [268] 2005 Lymphedema Survivors with lymphedema reported poorer QOL; a symptom cluster including limb sensation, loss of confidence in body, decreased physical activity, fatigue and psychological distress was identified.
Conde et al. [269] 2005 Menopausal symptoms Prevalence of menopausal symptoms was similar in women with and without breast cancer; sexual activity was less frequent in breast cancer patients.
Burckhardt et al. [270] 2005 Pain Widespread pain significantly caused more experience of pain severity, pain impact and lower physical health than regional pain.
Mills et al. [271] 2005 Fatigue Pre-chemotherapy and chemotherapy induced inflammation were related to fatigue and QOL.
Massacesi [272] 2006 Effects of endocrine related symptoms in breast cancer who had switched from tamoxifen to anastrozole Endocrine related symptoms improved but higher rate of mild arthritic and bone pain were reported.
Land et al. [273] 2006 Tamoxifen or raloxifene related symptoms No significant differences between groups; tamoxifen group reported better sexual function, more gynecological problems and vasomotor symptoms while raloxifene group reported more musculoskeletal problems and weight gain.
Heidrich et al. [274] 2006 Symptoms, and symptom beliefs in older breast cancer patients vs. older women without breast cancer Symptom experience and QOL of older breast cancer survivors were similar to those of older women with other chronic health problems.
Gupta et al. [275] 2006 Menopausal symptoms 96% reported vasomotor, 83% psychological and 90% somatic symptoms (n = 200) which negatively correlated not only their own but also with their partners' QOL.
Byar et al. [276] 2006 Fatigue Fatigue was associated with other physical and psychological symptoms and higher fatigue compromised QOL.
Arndt et al. [277] 2006 Fatigue Fatigue emerged as the strongest predictor of QOL.
Pyszel et al. [278] 2006 Disability, and psychological distress in breast cancer survivors with and without lymphedema Patients with arm lymphedema were more disabled, experienced a poorer QOL and had increased psychological distress in comparison to those without lymphedema.
Dagnelie et al. [279] 2007 Fatigue Of all QOL domains/subscales, fatigue is by far the predominant contributor to patient-perceived overall QOL in breast cancer patients preceding high-dose radiotherapy.
Janz et al. [280] 2007 Relationship between symptoms and post-treatment QOL Five most common symptoms were: systemic therapy side effects, fatigue, breast symptoms, sleep difficulties, and arm symptoms. Fatigue had the greatest impact on QOL.
  1. ALND: axillary lymph node dissection, ASCT: autologous stem cell transplantation, SLNB: sentinel lymph node biopsy.