Fatigue after treatment in breast cancer survivors: Prevalence, determinants and impact on health-related quality of life

Universidade Federal do ParanĂ¡, Brazil, Curitiba, Parana, Brazil.
Supportive Care in Cancer (Impact Factor: 2.36). 10/2011; 20(8):1901-9. DOI: 10.1007/s00520-011-1293-7
Source: PubMed


Fatigue is a phenomenon that may persist for years after completion of adjuvant therapy, and is one of the most frequent symptoms associated with breast cancer survivors. The purposes of this study were to investigate the occurrence of fatigue in disease-free breast cancer survivors after treatment, to identify variables associated with fatigue, and to evaluate the impact of fatigue on health-related quality of life.
A cross-sectional study was conducted on 202 consecutive women diagnosed with in-situ to Stage III breast cancer attending in outpatient facilities of two large hospitals, one year or more after diagnosis. They completed the Piper Fatigue Scale-Revised and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C30. Multiple logistic regression models were used to identify predictive factors associated with fatigue. EORTC QLQC-30 scores for fatigued survivors were compared to non-fatigued survivors.
The prevalence of fatigue reported by the breast cancer survivors was 37.6%. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that predictive factors for fatigue included younger age (odds ratio [OR]=2.23, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.11-4.45, p = 0.024); presence of pain (OR = 3.87, 95% CI = 1.88-7.98, p = 0.000); dyspnea (OR = 3.72, 95% CI = 1.46-9.50, p = 0.006); insomnia (OR = 2.40, 95% CI = 1.19-4.86, p = 0.015); and nausea and vomiting (OR = 12.25, 95% CI = 1.18-126.75, p = 0.036). Fatigued women had poorer health-related quality of life than non-fatigued women in all domains.
Our results suggest that many disease-free breast cancer survivors after treatment experienced fatigue that compromises their health-related quality of life.

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    • "Disease and treatment-related symptoms have been found to account for a significant amount of the variability in QOL, suggesting that reducing the symptom burden should have positive effects on QOL.6 The symptom found to have the greatest impact on QOL outcome measures is fatigue.6,29 Other factors have also been associated with poor physical and emotional well-being, such as muscle stiffness, breast sensitivity, aches and pains, a tendency to take naps, difficulty concentrating, mood and social support and the type of treatment administered.30 "
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    ABSTRACT: The treatment of breast cancer invariably results in severe and often debilitating symptoms that can cause significant distress and severely impair daily function and quality-of-life (QOL). We treated a series of 20 female breast cancer patients with the botanical compound LCS101 as adjuvant to conventional chemotherapy. At the end of the treatment regimen, patients rated their symptoms. 70% reported that they had either no or mildly severe levels of fatigue; 60% none to mildly severe weakness; 85% none to mildly severe pain; 70% none to mildly severe nausea; and 80% none to mildly severe vomiting. Only 20% reported severe impairment of overall function, and only 40% severely impaired QOL. No toxic effects were attributed by patients to the LCS101 treatment, and 85% reported that they believed the botanical compound had helped reduce symptoms. The effects of LCS101 on clinical outcomes in breast cancer should be tested further using randomized controlled trials.
    Integrative Medicine Insights 01/2013; 8(8):1-8. DOI:10.4137/IMI.S10841
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    ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to identify the impact of fatigue, pain, anxiety and depression on the quality of life (QOL) among breast cancer patients.
    01/2012; 12(1):27. DOI:10.5388/aon.2012.12.1.27
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction This pilot study used a prospective longitudinal design to compare the effect of adjuvant whole breast radiation therapy (WBRT) versus partial breast radiation therapy (PBRT) on fatigue, perceived stress, quality of life and natural killer cell activity (NKCA) in women receiving radiation after breast cancer surgery. Methods Women (N = 30) with early-stage breast cancer received either PBRT, Mammosite brachytherapy at dose of 34 Gy 10 fractions/5 days, (N = 15) or WBRT, 3-D conformal techniques at dose of 50 Gy +10 Gy Boost/30 fractions, (N = 15). Treatment was determined by the attending oncologist after discussion with the patient and the choice was based on tumor stage and clinical need. Women were assessed prior to initiation of radiation therapy and twice after completion of radiation therapy. At each assessment, blood was obtained for determination of NKCA and the following instruments were administered: Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Fatigue (FACT-F), and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G). Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used to evaluate group differences in initial outcomes and change in outcomes over time. Results Fatigue (FACT-F) levels, which were similar prior to radiation therapy, demonstrated a significant difference in trajectory. Women who received PBRT reported progressively lower fatigue; conversely fatigue worsened over time for women who received WBRT. No difference in perceived stress was observed between women who received PBRT or WBRT. Both groups of women reported similar levels of quality of life (FACT-G) prior to initiation of radiation therapy. However, HLM analysis revealed significant group differences in the trajectory of quality of life, such that women receiving PBRT exhibited a linear increase in quality of life over time after completion of radiation therapy; whereas women receiving WBRT showed a decreasing trajectory. NKCA was also similar between therapy groups but additional post hoc analysis revealed that better quality of life significantly predicted higher NKCA regardless of therapy. Conclusions Compared to WBRT, PBRT results in more rapid recovery from cancer-related fatigue with improved restoration of quality of life after radiation therapy. Additionally, better quality of life predicts higher NKCA against tumor targets, emphasizing the importance of fostering quality of life for women undergoing adjuvant radiation therapy.
    BMC Cancer 06/2012; 12(1):251. DOI:10.1186/1471-2407-12-251 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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