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Psychooncology. 2013 May;22(5):1008-16. doi: 10.1002/pon.3098. Epub 2012 Jun 7.

Quality of life of Latina and Euro-American women with ductal carcinoma in situ.

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  • 1University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-7360, USA.



Risk factors for psychosocial distress following a breast cancer diagnosis include younger age, history of depression, inadequate social support, and serious comorbid conditions. Although these quality of life (QOL) concerns have been studied in women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), Latina women have been understudied.


Data were from a cross-sectional telephone survey of Latina and Euro-American women with DCIS recruited through a population-based cancer registry. The sample included 396 Euro-American women and 349 Latina women; 156 were interviewed in English and 193 in Spanish, with a median of 2 years after diagnosis. Regression models were created for measures in each of the following four QOL domains: physical, psychological, social, and spiritual.


Younger age, no partner, and lower income were related to lower QOL in various domains. Physical comorbidities were associated with lower physical, psychological, and social QOL; lingering effects of surgery and prior depression were associated with lower QOL in all domains. English-speaking and Spanish-speaking Latinas (SSLs) reported higher spiritual QOL, and SSLs reported lower social QOL than Euro-American women.


Despite having lower mortality, women with DCIS are treated with surgery and radiation therapy as if they have invasive cancer, and the aftereffects of treatment can impact their QOL. SSLs are at risk for lower QOL partly because of poverty. However, Latinas' greater spiritual QOL may mitigate some of the psychological and social effects of treatment.


It is important to incorporate these findings into treatment decision making (choice of surgical treatment) and survivorship care (monitoring women with a history of depression or physical comorbidity).

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