Impact of Comorbidities on Quality Of Life in Breast Cancer Patients
This article was originally published by Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Private Ltd. and was migrated to Scientific Scholar after the change of Publisher.
Introduction: Comorbidities are common among cancer patients and with an aging population are becoming more prevalent. These can potentially affect the stage at diagnosis, treatment and outcomes of people with cancer. Despite the intimate relationship between comorbidity and cancer, there is limited consensus on how to record, interpret or manage comorbidities in the context of cancer. Addressing the impact of comorbid conditions in cancer patients warrants improvement in the evidence base from which to make treatment decisions for those with comorbidities.
Methods: In this prospective study, 64 patients with breast cancer, underwent QOL assessment using FACT –B questionnaire at three time points- pre-radiation and three and six months post radiation.
Results: 29(46%) patients had comorbidities of which 23 (35%) had cardiovascular comorbidities and 6 had other comorbidities. The co-morbidities were negatively associated with multiple domains of quality of life, including physical functioning, general health, bodily pain. Patients with diabetes and hypertension had significantly lower scores in physical functioning in comparison to patients without diabetes and hypertension, but improved after treatment. In majority of patients the overall scores were less in patients with co-morbidities compared to patients without any co-morbidity.
Conclusion: Comorbidities can significantly affect the quality of life in patients with comorbidities. Hence greater research into the QOL issues for better patient care and symptom management especially during the transitioning phase from active care to follow up will help clinicians improve the quality of care and interdisciplinary co-ordination.