A new study says, women who suffered breast cancer in their past and survived post treatment led a satisfied life in comparison to those who never had the disease.
“It’s been recognized for a long time that in the very short term breast cancer can adversely affect quality of life,” said senior author Dr. Pamela Goodwin of the University of Toronto.
Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can lead to pain, nausea and fatigue, but researchers did not know how long those effects usually last, Goodwin said.
The researchers surveyed 535 women with breast cancer between 1989 and 1996 and asked them to fill the questionnaires on their quality of life when they were diagnosed with breast cancer.
In 2005 to 2007, the 285 women who had survived cancer without a recurrence were brought back to answer the same questions.
The researchers compared their answers to those from a group of women of a similar age with no history of breast cancer.
The quality of life appeared improving among women with breast cancer.
Women who had breast cancer rated their cognitive functioning and financial situation somewhat lower than other women – by five and six percent, respectively, which is a small difference, Goodwin said.
“The majority of patients with early-stage breast cancer are long-term survivors with little impact on longevity,” said Dr. Patricia Ganz, director of cancer prevention and control research at the University of California, Los Angeles Fielding School of Public Health.
“In general the average quality of life in our patients was pretty much the same as women without breast cancer,” Goodwin said.
Women in both study groups rated their overall quality of life at a bit over 80 percent.
The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.