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J Breast Cancer. 2011 Jun;14(2):112-8. doi: 10.4048/jbc.2011.14.2.112. Epub 2011 Jun 18.

Quality of Life Differences between Younger and Older Breast Cancer Patients.

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Department of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



This study was designed to investigate quality of life (QOL) differences between younger (<50 years) and older (≥50 years) breast cancer survivors and to determine the unique effect of age on QOL after adjusting age-correlated variables.


One thousand two hundred fifty patients were enrolled. Clinicopatholgical and social parameters were reviewed and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast cancer instrument (FACT-B) and the Ladder of Life scale were used to measure the QOL. Among 1,250 eligible patients, 1,094 patients completed the questionnaire and were used for analysis. Chi-square test, t-test and a series of multiple regression analyses were conducted to verify age-related differences in QOL between two groups and to evaluate the unique contribution of age variable on QOL of breast cancer patients.


Significant socio-demographic and clinical differences existed based on age categories, including education, job, time since surgery, chemotherapy and daily activity. Also, there were significant age-related differences in FACT-B total, physical well-being, social/family well-being, functional well-being and breast cancer subscale and in subjective QOL. Older patients ≥50 years showed significantly lower QOL than younger patients <50 years. However, after controlling for age-correlated variables including job, education, time since surgery, chemotherapy, and daily activity, there was no unique age difference in QOL among breast cancer survivors.


Our study results suggest that older women with breast carcinoma suffered significantly lower QOL, even though the unique age effect was not found. Therefore, various interventions for enhancing QOL for women with breast carcinoma should be provided to older age group.


Age-related differences; Breast carcinoma; Quality of life

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