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J Chemother. 1992 Feb;4(1):59-63.

The impact of chemotherapy on the quality of life of breast cancer patients.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Genova, Italy.


One hundred and thirty-seven breast cancer patients, 102 receiving adjuvant chemotherapy and 35 receiving palliative chemotherapy for metastatic disease underwent a 37-item quality-of-life questionnaire to evaluate the impact of disease and treatment on physical, psychological and social well being. Patient groups were designated as follows--Adj CT: patients undergoing the questionnaire during their adjuvant chemotherapy program; Post Adj CT: patients evaluated 3 to 8 months after termination of adjuvant chemotherapy; Mts CT: patients assessed during palliative chemotherapy for metastatic disease, and Post Mts CT: patients 3 to 8 months after termination of palliative chemotherapy. Physical and social activities were reported as unaltered or normal by 64 to 70% and 52 to 67% of patients, respectively. Psychological status was judged normal by 39 to 45% of patients. No significant differences were observed between the patients groups. In 83 to 90% of cases the patient normally took care of herself. In 62 to 87% of cases time dedicated to recreational activities was reported as unaltered. The majority of patients (84%) judged that their relationship with partner and/or family were good. Severe anxiety was reported in 19 to 28% of patients and severe depression was infrequent (3.9%). Information regarding disease and treatment given by health professionals was considered satisfactory by 80 to 100% of patients.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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