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Qual Life Res. 2007 Aug;16(6):947-60. Epub 2007 Apr 25.

Fatigue in breast cancer survivors two to five years post diagnosis: a HEAL Study report.

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  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California, USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, 1444 Eastlake Avenue, Room 4449, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.



The purpose of this study was to estimate prevalence of fatigue, identify correlates of fatigue and evaluate the relationship between fatigue and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in a large cohort of disease-free breast cancer survivors.


Participants are enrolled in the HEAL Study, a multi-center prospective study of women diagnosed with in-situ to Stage IIIA breast cancer. HEAL participants (n = 1183) completed a baseline and a 24-month follow-up interview. Women in this report (n = 800) also completed a quality of life questionnaire that included the Piper Fatigue Scale and the RAND SF-36 two to five years after diagnosis. Multivariate regression methods were used to identify significant factors associated with fatigue. SF-36 scores for fatigued survivors were compared to non-fatigued survivor scores and population norms.


Forty-one percent of the breast cancer survivors were fatigued. Significant correlates of fatigue included pain, cognitive problems, physical inactivity, weight gain/personal appearance and antidepressant use. Fatigue was associated with poorer HRQOL, most notably in areas of role and social functioning.


This study provides further support for the conclusion that a significant proportion of breast cancer survivors experience fatigue that compromises HRQOL two to five years post-diagnosis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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