OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the quality of life (QOL) scores among breast cancer patients at a Malaysian public hospital.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study of breast cancer patients was conducted between March to June 2013. QOL scores were determined using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) and its breast cancer supplementary measure (QLQ-BR23). Both the QLQ-C30 and QLQ-BR23 assess items from functional and symptom scales. The QLQ-C30 in addition also measures the Global Health Status (GHS). Systematic random sampling was used to recruit patients.
RESULTS: 223 breast cancer patients were recruited with a response rate of 92.1%. The mean age of the patients was 52.4 years (95% CI = 51.0, 53.7, SD=10.3). Majority of respondents are Malays (60.5%), followed by Chinese (19.3%), Indians (18.4%), and others (1.8%). More than 50% of respondents are at stage III and stage IV of malignancy. The mean Global Health Status was 65.7 (SD = 21.4). From the QLQ-C30, the mean score in the functioning scale was highest for 'cognitive functioning' (84.1, SD=18.0), while the mean score in the symptom scale was highest for 'financial difficulties' (40.1, SD=31.6). From the QLQ-BR23, the mean score for functioning scale was highest for 'body image' (80.0, SD=24.6) while the mean score in the symptom scale was highest for 'upset by hair loss' (36.2, SD=29.4). Two significant predictors for Global Health Status were age and employment. The predictors explained 10.6% of the variation of global health status (R2=0.106).
CONCLUSIONS: Age and employment were found to be significant predictors for Global Health Status (GHS). The Quality of Life among breast cancer patients reflected by the GHS improves as age and employment increases.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective study was conducted at the Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. All patients with histologically confirmed recurrent NPC in the absence of distant metastasis treated in the period 1997-2010 were included in this study. These patients were treated with ICBT alone or in combination with external beam radiotherapy (EBRT). Treatment outcomes measured were local recurrence free survival (LRFS), disease free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS).
RESULTS: Thirty three patients were eligible for this study. The median age at recurrence was 56 years with a median time to initial local recurrence of 27 months. Majority of patients were staged as rT1-2 (94%) or rN0 (82%). The proportion of patients categorised as stage III-IV at first local recurrence was only 9%. Twenty one patients received a combination of ICBT and external beam radiotherapy while 12 patients were treated with ICBT alone. Median interval of recurrence post re-irradiation was 32 months (range: 4-110 months). The median LRFS, DFS and OS were 30 months, 29 months and 36 months respectively. The 5 year LRFS, DFS and OS were 44.7%, 38.8% and 28.1% respectively. The N stage at recurrence was found to be a significant prognostic factor for LRFS and DFS after multivariate analysis. Major late complications occurred in 34.9% of our patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows ICBT was associated with a reasonable long term outcome in salvaging recurrent NPC although major complications remained a significant problem. The N stage at recurrence was a significant prognostic factor for both LRFS and DFS.