MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kelly de Ligt, PhD
Postdoctoral researcher | Project lead ‘PRO implementation in clinical care’
Psycho Social Research and Epidemiology (PSOE)
Netherlands Cancer Institute – Antoni van Leeuwenhoek
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Health-related Quality of Life (HRQoL) and survivorship has become increasingly important within breast cancer care, as the majority of women survives at least 10 years after breast cancer diagnosis. Breast cancer survivors may experience multiple co-existing symptoms that affect their health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Previous studies have mainly studied these symptoms as separate, independent items. However in reality, survivors usually experience multiple symptoms that can add up. We therefore studied the overall symptom burden in breast cancer survivors and tried to identify patterns in this. We believe this may be more relevant, as currently the needs of breast cancer survivors are not fully met and there is a growing demand for personalized follow-up care.
We selected breast cancer survivors from the Netherlands Cancer Registry, which contains comprehensive information about diagnosis and treatment for all cancer patients in the Netherlands. Women who had been surgically treated with or without adjuvant treatment for breast cancer stages I to III and between one and five years after diagnosis were invited to participate in our survey. A total of 404 participating survivors were questioned about their experienced burden for fatigue, nausea, pain, shortness of breath, insomnia, appetite, constipation, diarrhoea, as well as emotional and cognitive symptoms (more…)