Health, Zoomer Report

Long-Term Survivors' Quality of Life

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It’s great news for thousands of women, including me, who have gone through breast cancer. A study out of Mount Sinai Hospital’s Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, has found that long-term breast cancer survivors had the same quality of life as women with no history of the disease.

Researchers looked at factors such as pain and fatigue as well as moodiness, social functioning and sexual relationships. These were measured when patients were diagnosed, one year post-diagnosis and then eleven years after that. About a quarter of the patients had a mastectomy, while the remainder had a lumpectomy. The study compared 285 patients who had the surgery and subsequent treatment with 161 women who had never had cancer.

There’s no question that diagnosis and treatment hurt quality of life – it’s a grueling process, both physically and emotionally, that often takes a whole year. But researchers found that that for long term survivors who had no recurrence, the quality of life was not significantly different from that reported by women who never had breast cancer.

Lead author Pamela Goodwin calls the findings very reassuring and says they prove that there is a good life after breast cancer.

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