Document Type: Research Articles
Objective: To investigate the impact of chemotherapy on quality of life (QoL) among breast cancer patients and to evaluate the relationship with age, cancer stage and presence of any comorbidity. Methods: A prospective study was conducted among breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy in Hospital Melaka from 1st January 2014 to 31st July 2014. The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) was given to patients to fill in prior chemotherapy (baseline) and after the third cycle of chemotherapy. Socio-demographic and clinical data were collected and analyzed using SPSS version 20. Result: Respondents were 32 female patients [mean age (SD): 49.7(9.93) years]. They reported a significant lower global health status (P < 0.01) and significant higher symptoms of nausea and vomiting (P < 0.01), loss of appetite (P = 0.028) and diarrhea (P = 0.026) after the third cycle of chemotherapy as compared to baseline. Compare to, this study showed significant better emotional functioning (P < 0.01) and social functioning (P < 0.01) than the EORTC QLQ-C30 Reference Values 2008 for breast cancer cases. Under symptom scales higher scores were noted for appetite loss (P = 0.017), nausea and vomiting (P < 0.01). Age, stage and comorbidity had no clear associations with global health status in our patients (P > 0.05). Conclusion: Chemotherapy did reduce the QoL of breast cancer patients. Management of chemotherapy-induced loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting should be improved for a better outcome.