Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)
Geri L. Wood, PhD, RN, FAAN, Chair
Richard Theriault, DO, Member
Terri Armstrong, PhD, ANP-BC, FAANP, Member
Many breast cancer survivors continue to have single or multiple symptoms after they have completed primary cancer therapy. The quantifiable, subjective experience of multiple symptoms and their impact is defined as symptom burden. Previous research has focused on symptoms during primary therapy or shortly after completion of treatment.
Our study objectives were to determine whether symptom burden differed according to survivor status (early as opposed to long-term survival) and/or use of endocrine or hormonal adjuvant therapy. We hypothesized that there would be no difference in the symptoms expressed among early- and long-term survivors.
In this cross-sectional study, data were collected on 133 survivors,using the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory, Karnofsky Performance Status, Charlson Comorbidity Index and a demographic/health history form to assess study variables. Results Patients who were prescribed endocrine or hormonal therapy had higher symptom severity scores than did women who did not receive these therapies.
Patients who were prescribed endocrine or hormonal therapy had higher symptom severity scores than did women who did not receive these therapies. 26 No differences were noted in symptom burden and symptom interference between early- and long-term survivors or whether or not they had taken adjuvant therapy. As functional status increased, the patients' symptoms scores decreased. Comorbidities did not impact the symptom scores.
Conclusions Breast cancer survivors continue to experience symptoms, but symptoms are more severe among those taking hormonal or endocrine therapy. Understanding the relationship between symptoms, cancer therapy, comorbidities, and functional status in early versus late survivorship may improve symptom management and outcomes for breast cancer survivors.
Strunk, Faith, "SYMPTOMS IN EARLY AND LONG-TERM BREAST CANCER SURVIVORS WHO HAVE COMPLETED PRIMARY THERAPY" (2013). Dissertations (Open Access). 4.
Breast cancer, survivor, symptoms, symptom interference, M. D. Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI), Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS), Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI)