Comparison of Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Survivors with Lymphoma Survivors
Background: Breast cancer diagnosis and its subsequent treatment, especially surgical removal of the breast(s) cause changes in physical appearance that can be devastating to the Quality of Life (QOL) of cancer survivors. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of surgical intervention on the QOL of breast cancer survivors by comparing it with QOL of Lymphoma survivors.
Material and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study, conducted in the Departments of General Surgery and Oncology at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Islamabad, Pakistan from 1st June to 31st December, 2019. Six months’ post treatment patients of breast cancer (n=166) and lymphoma (n=50) were included. A standardized questionnaire was used to assess the Quality of Life in Cancer Survivors (QOL-CSV). Chi square and independent t-test were applied to determine the association of QOL among lymphoma and breast cancer survivors. Linear regression model was applied to determine the confounding variables.
Results: All participants responded moderately in reporting overall quality of life in lymphoma survivors (LS) as compared to Breast cancer survivors (BCS) group (100% vs 86.7%; P = .007). Physical wellbeing parameters revealed a better mean score of 75.86 ±10.53 for LS group than the BCS group (P < .001). Psychological wellbeing mean score was similar for both groups (P = .46). Distress associated with illness and treatment was dealt better by LS than BCS group (P < .001), whereas spiritual wellbeing was markedly better in BCS group (P < .001). Fear of recurrence and spread was poor amongst the BCS than LS, while the LS group performed worse in social factors (mean value of 26.88±6.67) (P < .001).
Conclusions: Both lymphoma and breast cancer negatively affect the quality of life of the patients, especially the psychological, social and spiritual wellbeing. However, surgical intervention in breast cancer patients led to considerable worsening of the quality of life with respect to physical and social wellbeing and increased distress of illness and fear factor.
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