As more women are treated with bone marrow transplantation (BMT) for breast cancer, there is growing interest in quality of life (QOL) following treatment. Although there have been some clinical studies of QOL following BMT, this area has received little systematic attention. In particular, it is unclear how QOL for women treated with BMT for breast cancer differs from that which might be expected for ‘healthy’ women of about the same age. To address this issue, we compared QOL reported by women treated with autologous BMT for breast cancer with that of a group of women of similar age with no history of cancer. In addition, we examined the relationship of demographic factors, medical factors, and self-reported symptom prevalence, severity, and distress to QOL in post-BMT patients. All participants completed the SF-36 Health Survey developed from the Medical Outcomes Study (SF-36). Post-BMT patients also completed the ECOG Performance Status Rating Scale (PSR) and the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale (MSAS). Results indicated that, compared to the women with no cancer history, post-BMT patients reported significantly impaired physical functioning, physical role functioning, general health, vitality, social functioning, and emotional role functioning. Impaired QOL following BMT was significantly associated with lower income, a longer time to engraftment, longer hospital stay, poor performance status, and greater symptom prevalence, severity, and distress. The problems identified in this study may be important targets for intervention when trying to improve QOL following BMT.
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Hann, D., Jacobsen, P., Martin, S. et al. Quality of life following bone marrow transplantation for breast cancer: a comparative study. Bone Marrow Transplant 19, 257–264 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bmt.1700651
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