- A Dutch cohort study finds that 93% of patients with early breast cancer (eBCa) report symptoms up to 5 years postdiagnosis.
- More than 50% report various health problems regarding the breast, and/or musculoskeletal, central nervous system (CNS), and reproductive system.
Why this matters
- Patients should be informed about long-term health problems years after treatment.
- Clinicians should perform better treatment planning.
- Cross-sectional cohort of 876 women with eBCa (2012-2016) who were contacted up to 5 years postdiagnosis in 20 Dutch hospitals; 404 responded electronically.
- Funding: None.
- Median age, 62.0 years.
- In addition to breast surgery, patients were treated with radiotherapy (72%), chemotherapy (49%), endocrine therapy (57%), and axillary dissection (21%).
- 93% of patients reported 1 or more health problems.
- >50% experienced fatigue, psychological problems, and health problems in the breast, and/or musculoskeletal, CNS, and reproductive system.
- Chemotherapy was associated (P<.05 with increased risk for fatigue p=".020)," respiratory gastrointestinal cns and skin problems>
- 64% of the respondents were using some type of healthcare for at least 1 of the problems, most commonly for fracture (78.6%) and gastric/abdominal complaints (51.0%).
- Moderate response rate.
- Lack of control group.