METHODS: This study is from the MyBCC cohort study. Two hundred and twenty one female breast cancer patients were included into the study. They were assessed at the time of diagnosis, 6 months and 12 month using Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and distress thermometer. The information on age, ethnicity, treatment types and staging of cancer were collected.
RESULTS: 50.2%, 51.6% and 40.3% of patients had perceived high level of distress at baseline, 6 months and 1 year after diagnosis. Those with high perceived level of distress had significant higher anxiety scores even after adjusted for the underlying depressive scores (Adjusted OR at baseline = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.13-1.44; adjusted OR at 6 months = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.11-1.45; adjusted OR at 12 months = 1.51, 95% CI = 1.29-1.76). There were no significant differences in the depressive scores between the subjects with either low or high distress level. There was reduction in perceived level of distress, anxiety and depression scores at 12 months after the diagnosis. The decrease of distress was positively correlated with the reduction of anxiety scores but not the changes of depressive scores (r' = 0.25).
CONCLUSION: Anxiety is a more significant psychological state that contributed to the feeling of distress in breast cancer as compared with depression. Levels of anxiety at diagnosis in this study would justify screening for anxiety, early identification and therapy for maintaining the psychological well-being of breast cancer patients. Further studies will be needed to measure the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions.
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.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was performed at two chemotherapy providers. Patients were questioned about use of three categories of CAM, mind-body practices (MBPs), natural products (NPs) and traditional medicine (TM). PFH was also examined separately from CAM to better characterise the patterns of CAM and PFH used during chemotherapy.
RESULTS: A total of 546 eligible patients participated in the study; 70.7% (n = 386) reported using some form of CAM, and 29.3% (n = 160) were non-CAM users. When PFH was excluded as a CAM, fewer patients reported the use of CAM (66.1%; n = 361). The total number of patients who used MBPs decreased from 342 to 183. The most common CAM use category was NPs (82.8%), followed by MBPs (50.7%), and TM (35.7%). CAM users were more likely to have a tertiary education (OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.15-3.89 vs. primary/lower), have household incomes > RM 3,000 (≈944 USD) per month (OR 2.32, 95% CI 1.40-3.84 vs. ≤RM 3,000 (≈944 USD)), and have advanced cancer (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.18-2.59 vs. early stage cancer), compared with non-CAM users. The CAM users were less likely to have their chemotherapy on schedule (OR 0.24, 95% CI 0.10-0.58 vs. chemotherapy postponed) than non-CAM users. Most MBPs were perceived to be more helpful by their users, compared with the users of NPs and TM.
CONCLUSION: CAM use was prevalent among breast cancer patients. Excluding PFH from the definition of CAM reduced the prevalence of overall CAM use. Overall, CAM use was associated with higher education levels and household incomes, advanced cancer and lower chemotherapy schedule compliance. Many patients perceived MBP to be beneficial for improving overall well-being during chemotherapy. These findings, while preliminary, clearly indicate the differences in CAM use when PFH is included in, and excluded from, the definition of CAM.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 197 participants were randomly assigned to either the 8-week Kuala Lumpur Qigong Trial or control groups in 2010-2011. Measurement taken at baseline and post- intervention included QoL, distress and fatigue. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and Kruskal Wallis were used to examine for differences between groups in the measurements.
RESULTS: There were 95 consenting participants in this 8week trial. The adherence rates were 63% for Qigong and 65% for the placebo group. The Qigong group showed significant marginal improvement in Quality of life scores compared to placebo (mean difference=7.3 unit; p=0.036), compared to usual care (mean difference=6.7 unit; p=0.048) on Functional Assessment Cancer Therapy-Breast measure. There were no significant changes between the placebo and usual care groups in fatigue or distress at post intervention (8-week).
CONCLUSIONS: Cancer survivors who participated in the Qigong intervention showed slightly better QOL. Follow up studies are greatly needed to evaluate which subgroups may best benefit from Qigong. With a steep rise of cancer survivors, there is an urgent need to explore and engage more cultural means of physical activity to fight side effects of treatment and for cancer control in developing countries.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This paper reviews the existing literature on several cognitive theories and models associated with breast cancer screening, with an emphasis on the work that has been done in relation to Asian women. To conduct this review, a number of electronic databases were searched with context-appropriate inclusion criteria.
RESULTS: Little empirical work was found that specifically addressed the applicability of health theories in promoting adherence to the current breast cancer prevention programs Among Asian women. However, a few studies were found that addressed individual cognitive factors that are likely to encourage women's motivation to protect themselves against breast cancer in this region of the world. The findings suggest that multi-level, socio-cultural interventions that focus on cognitive factors have much promise with this issue.
CONCLUSIONS: Interventions are needed that effectively and efficiently target the personal motivation of at-risk Asian women to seek out and engage in breast cancer prevention. Concerning implications, personal motivation to seek out and engage in individual preventive actions for breast cancer prevention among Asian women is a timely, high priority target with practical implications for community development and health promotion. Further studies using qualitative, anthropologic approaches shaped for implementation in multi-ethnic Asian settings are needed to inform and guide these interventions.
OBJECTIVES: This narrative review aimed to understand and evaluate the level of in-depth breast cancer knowledge in terms of clinical breast examination and breast self-examination, and other important aspects such as side-effects and risk factors in Malaysian females. Since Malaysia is multicultural, this review assessed social perceptions, cultural beliefs and help-seeking behaviour in respect to breast cancer among different ethnic groups, since these may impinge on efforts to 'avoid' the disease.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A comprehensive literature search of seven databases was performed from December 2015 to January 2015. Screening of relevant published journals was also undertaken to identify available information related to the knowledge, perception and help-seeking behaviour of Malaysian women in relation to breast cancer.
RESULTS: A total of 42 articles were appraised and included in this review. Generally, women in Malaysia had good awareness of breast cancer and its screening tools, particularly breast self-examination, but only superficial in-depth knowledge about the disease. Women in rural areas had lower levels of knowledge than those in urban areas. It was also shown that books, magazines, brochures and television were among the most common sources of breast cancer information. Delay in presentation was attributed mainly to a negative social perception of the disease, poverty, cultural and religion practices, and a strong influence of complementary and alternative medicine, rather than a lack of knowledge.
CONCLUSIONS: This review highlighted the need for an intensive and in-depth breast cancer education campaigns using media and community health programmes, even with the existing good awareness of breast cancer. This is essential in order to avoid misconceptions and to frame the correct mind-set about breast cancer among women in Malaysia. Socio-cultural differences and religious practices should be taken into account by health care professionals when advising on breast cancer. Women need to be aware of the risk factors and symptoms of breast cancer so that early diagnosis can take place and the chances of survival improved.
MATERIAL AND METHOD: The functional assessment of chronic illness therapy (FACIT) system is a collection of QOL questionnaires targeted to measure QOL in chronic illness. The functional assessment of cancer therapy for breast cancer (FACT-B) was translated into the local language (Malayalam) and tested for validity and reliability.
RESULTS: The tool thus developed showed substantial sensitivity, as does the source tool. The Cronbach's alpha for the total FACT-B was 0.87, which is similar to the alpha of 0.9 observed in the FACT-B English version. The mean FACT-B score was 94.3 compared to 112.8 for the source tool.
CONCLUSION: The Malayalam translation of the FACT-B questionnaire was developed, tested and validated, and was found satisfactory in comparison to the source tool.