Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UCLA study looks at life after breast cancer

18.11.2003


UCLA study looks at quality of life of younger women after breast cancer



Very young women diagnosed with breast cancer may be more likely to have persisting physical and psychological problems years after cancer, according to a new study by researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center.

In a survey of nearly 600 women who were all age 50 or younger when they first were diagnosed with breast cancer, researchers found that the majority of women report they have a good quality of life an average of six years after their diagnosis. Yet, the youngest women in the study -- those who were between 25 and 34 when they were diagnosed -- showed greater changes in energy and poorer emotional functioning than the women in the study who were older at diagnosis.


The study was published in the Nov. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

"There is a positive message here that overall function is going to be good for the majority of younger women who survive breast cancer. Yet there are subgroups who may be at more risk for problems," said Dr. Patricia Ganz, director of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center and lead author of the study. "The youngest women report persistent energy loss and psychological difficulties. They are a group doctors and others need to target for intervention."

Other problems include early menopause, loss of ability to have children and depression. "It is important for us to acknowledge that many symptoms and problems persist long beyond the acute phase of breast cancer treatment," Ganz said.

This is the first large, multiethnic study to have detailed descriptive information about what younger breast cancer survivors are experiencing.

"You can imagine if you get cancer at 30 years-of-age and no one else in your family has had it, and you have to go through all this treatment with uncertainty about the outcome, that there’s going to be a sort of sword of Damocles hanging over your head," Ganz said. "So that’s what these findings talk about; for these younger women especially, there are fear and vulnerability, feelings of being ’out of control’ and not being able ’to trust the world,’ even after they have successfully completed treatment."

"At first it is hard because the only thing you can focus on is getting through the treatments -- and hanging on to your life," said Cynthia Lauren, a study participant who was 37 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. "But once that is over, you begin to realize the more subtle changes and losses that come along with the diagnosis. For me, I lost my fertility, but didn’t really get to deal with it until later."

Now, 10 years after treatment, the Santa Monica resident is still learning to cope with those changes. "Sometimes, even though it is behind me now, it is still tough to get up in the morning and deal with the little aggravations of life while trying to remember and hang on to the big picture: I had cancer and I have survived."

More than 200,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 and of those, 25 percent will be women under age 50. The National Cancer Institute estimates that there are about 2.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States today.

"The other thing that we examined was whether or not there were any other factors that predicted how women assessed their overall health. What we found was that women who were college graduates or had higher education perceived themselves as having better health, while women who had gone through menopause as a result of the cancer thought their health was poorer," Ganz said.

The study also supports some results seen in prior studies conducted by Ganz and her colleagues. "Previous studies suggested that African-American women reported better quality of life after breast cancer than other ethnic groups, and experienced more positive meaning from the cancer experience. The current study confirmed the earlier findings and to see those results in a second independent sample suggests it is an accurate observation," Ganz said.


UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center is composed of more than 240 cancer researchers and clinicians engaged in cancer research, prevention, detection, control and education. The center, one of the nation’s largest comprehensive cancer centers, is dedicated to promoting cancer research and applying the results to clinical situations. In 2003 the center was named the best cancer center in the Western United States by U.S. News & World Report, a ranking it has held for four consecutive years.

For more information about UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center, visit the center’s Web site at www.cancer.mednet.ucla.edu/.

Mary Hardin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cancer.mednet.ucla.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>