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Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2004 May 18;2:25.

Quality of life of 5-10 year breast cancer survivors diagnosed between age 40 and 49.

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  • 1Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative, 1730 Minor Ave, Suite 1600, Seattle, WA 98101, USA.



The purpose of this report is to examine the correlates of quality of life (QOL) of a well-defined group of long-term breast cancer survivors diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 49.


Women were eligible if they were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ 5 to 10 years before June 30, 1998 and were enrolled at Group Health Cooperative, a health maintenance organization in western Washington State. A questionnaire was mailed to 290 women; 216 were included in this analysis. The questionnaire included standardized measures of QOL [e.g., the Cancer Rehabilitation Evaluation System (CARES-SF) and SF-36] as well as general demographic and medical information. ANOVA and logistic regression were used to estimate correlates of self-reported QOL.


The mean age at diagnosis was 44.4 years, and the average time since diagnosis was 7.3 years. Women reported high levels of functioning across several standardized QOL scales; mild impairment was found on the CARES-SF Sexual Scale. The presence of breast-related symptoms at survey, use of adjuvant therapy, having lower income, and type of breast surgery were significantly associated with lower QOL 5 to 10 years post-diagnosis on one or more of the scales.


Our results emphasize that younger long-term survivors of breast cancer have a high QOL across several standardized measures. However, the long-term consequences of adjuvant therapy and the management of long-term breast-related symptoms are two areas that may be important for clinicians and women with breast cancer in understanding and optimizing long-term QOL.

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