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J Cancer Surviv. 2009 Dec;3(4):212-22. doi: 10.1007/s11764-009-0097-y. Epub 2009 Sep 16.

Racial/ethnic differences in quality of life after diagnosis of breast cancer.

Author information

  • 1Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. nkjanz@umich.edu

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Most studies on quality of life of breast cancer survivors have not had adequate representation of ethnic minorities. The purpose of this study was to determine whether racial/ethnic differences in quality of life exist between white, African American, and Latina women in the early stages of survivorship.

METHODS:

2268 women were identified by two Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registries (6/05-2/07) and asked to complete a survey (mean 9 months post-diagnosis, 72.1% response rate). Latina and African American women were over-sampled. Regression models compared quality of life across race/ethnicity (white, African American, Latina [low vs. high acculturation]), sequentially controlling for sociodemographics, clinical, and treatment factors.

RESULTS:

There were significant racial/ethnic differences in quality of life controlling for sociodemographics, clinical factors and treatment factors. Lower acculturated Latinas compared to whites had significantly lower functional well-being, emotional well-being, and breast cancer concerns (p values < 0.05). African Americans had significantly higher emotional well-being than whites. Age, co-morbidities, cancer stage, and chemotherapy also influenced quality of life. A significant interaction was found between race/ethnicity and age for physical well-being (p = 0.041) and for emotional well-being (p = 0.042). Specifically, racial/ethnic differences were only observed among older women (>or=50 years), with less acculturated Latinas reporting the lowest quality of life.

CONCLUSIONS:

Racial/ethnic differences in quality of life exist during the cancer survivorship period. Latinas with low acculturation are a particularly vulnerable subgroup.

IMPLICATIONS:

Greater attention should be devoted to identifying women disproportionately affected by breast cancer and developing interventions targeting their unique survivorship concerns.

PMID:
19760151
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3862172
Free PMC Article

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