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 Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

nachricht Study advances gene therapy for glaucoma
17.01.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

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: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Polymers Based on Boron?

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

World’s oldest known oxygen oasis discovered

18.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>