Symptoms in long-term breast cancer survivors

News
Various long-term symptoms can manifest after breast cancer treatment. After a median follow-up of 10 years, concentration difficulties, forgetfulness, dizziness, and nocturia were more frequent among breast cancer survivors compared with controls. The symptoms are mainly related to the provided therapies (chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy).
Video bekijken Scannen

This was a cross-sectional, population-based study of 350 breast cancer survivors treated with chemo- and/or radiotherapy ≥5 years (median 10) after diagnosis and 350 women without cancer matched by age and primary care physician. All women completed a questionnaire enquiring about symptoms, underwent echocardiography to assess the left ventricle ejection fraction, and completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Cardiovascular diseases were diagnosed from primary care records. In a multivariable logistic regression analysis, symptoms were adjusted for the long-term effects and compared between cohorts and within the survivor group.

Results

Concentration difficulties, forgetfulness, dizziness, and nocturia were more frequent among breast cancer survivors compared with controls, but differences could not be explained by cardiac dysfunction, cardiovascular diseases, depression, or anxiety. Intermittent claudication and appetite loss were more frequent among breast cancer survivors than controls and associated with cardiac dysfunction, depression, and anxiety. Breast cancer survivors treated with chemotherapy with/without radiotherapy were at significantly higher odds of forgetfulness and nocturia, but significantly lower odds of dizziness, compared with breast cancer survivors treated with radiotherapy alone.

Conclusions

Intermittent claudication and appetite loss are common among breast cancer survivors and are associated with cardiac dysfunction and mood disorders. Other symptoms varied by whether the patient underwent chemotherapy with/without radiotherapy (forgetfulness and nocturia) radiotherapy alone (dizziness).

More detailed information about this article? Read: Symptoms in long-term breast cancer survivors: A cross-sectional study in primary care