-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Younger women with breast
cancer may experience a decrease in their health-related quality of
life because of increased mental distress, weight gain and other
factors, a new study finds.
Decreased physical activity, infertility and early-onset
menopause were among the other problems these women faced,
according to the report published Jan. 20 in the
Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
The findings were based on data from 28 previous studies,
conducted between 1990 and 2010, which focused on how breast cancer
affects the quality of life of breast cancer patients aged 50 and
The review revealed that overall quality of life was reduced in
these patients, and that mental issues were more severe than
physical problems, said Dr. Patricia Ganz, director of cancer
prevention and control research at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer
Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, and
The investigators also found that younger breast cancer patients
were more depressed than women of the same age without cancer in
the general population, or breast cancer patients older than 50.
Premature menopause, infertility and menopause-related symptoms
were more common among patients 50 and younger and contributed to
their levels of distress, the findings showed.
Even though exercise rates among younger patients generally
increased after treatment, weight gain and physical inactivity were
common among these women, the study authors pointed out in a
university news release.
The findings suggest that personalized treatment is particularly
important for younger women with breast cancer, the researchers
"By tailoring adjuvant therapy regimens and giving cytotoxic therapy [such as chemotherapy] only to those who may benefit, we can mitigate some of these side effects, but the long life expectancy for these younger women also provides a window of opportunity for cancer prevention and health promotion activities," the study authors concluded in their report.
American Cancer Society outlines lifestyle changes
to consider during and after breast cancer treatment.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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