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Article

Fatigue among Long-Term Breast Cancer Survivors: A Controlled Cross-Sectional Study

1
Department of General Practice and Elderly Care Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, PO Box 196, 9700 AD Groningen, The Netherlands
2
NIVEL, Netherlands Institute of Health Services Research, 3513 CR Utrecht, The Netherlands
3
Department of Epidemiology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, PO Box 30001, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Anne Déborah Bouhnik
Cancers 2021, 13(6), 1301; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061301
Received: 25 January 2021 / Revised: 6 March 2021 / Accepted: 9 March 2021 / Published: 15 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Survivorship)
The number of long-term breast cancer survivors is increasing. Earlier research showed that many breast cancer survivors suffer from fatigue during and shortly after treatment. Fatigue is distressing and can severely impact quality of life. In this research, we assessed whether the prevalence of fatigue is also elevated long after breast cancer treatment. We showed that even ten years after diagnosis, one in four breast cancer survivors experience fatigue. This is more than women of the same age without a history of cancer. In addition, we found that fatigue among long-term breast cancer survivors was associated with symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Background: Fatigue is the most common and persistent symptom among women in the first five years after a breast cancer diagnosis. However, long-term prevalence of fatigue, among breast cancer survivors, needs further investigation. Aim: To compare fatigue experienced by long-term breast cancer survivors with that in a reference population and to evaluate the determinants of that fatigue. Design and Setting: A cross-sectional cohort study of 350 breast cancer survivors ≥5 years after diagnosis and a reference population of 350 women matched by age and general practitioner. Method: Fatigue was measured using the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI-20), and a sum score of >60 (multidimensional fatigue) was the primary outcome. Logistic regression was applied to compare the prevalence of multidimensional fatigue between the survivor and reference populations, adjusted for body mass index (BMI) and for cardiovascular and psychological variables. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs) were estimated. Logistic regression was applied to evaluate the determinants of multidimensional fatigue among the survivors. Results: Breast cancer survivors (median 10 years after diagnosis), more often experienced multidimensional fatigue than the reference population (26.6% versus 15.4%; OR, 2.0 [95%CI, 1.4–2.9]), even after adjusting for confounders. The odds of multidimensional fatigue were also higher among survivors with symptoms of depression (32.2% versus 2.7%; OR, 17.0 [95%CI, 7.1–40.5]) or anxiety (41.9% versus 10.1%; OR, 6.4 [95%CI, 3.6–11.4]). Conclusion: One in four breast cancer survivors experience multidimensional fatigue and fatigue occurs more frequently than in women of the same age and general practitioner. This fatigue appears to be associated with symptoms of depression and anxiety. View Full-Text
Keywords: breast neoplasms; fatigue; cancer survivors; long-term adverse effects; anxiety disorder; depressive disorder breast neoplasms; fatigue; cancer survivors; long-term adverse effects; anxiety disorder; depressive disorder
MDPI and ACS Style

Maass, S.W.M.C.; Brandenbarg, D.; Boerman, L.M.; Verhaak, P.F.M.; de Bock, G.H.; Berendsen, A.J. Fatigue among Long-Term Breast Cancer Survivors: A Controlled Cross-Sectional Study. Cancers 2021, 13, 1301. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061301

AMA Style

Maass SWMC, Brandenbarg D, Boerman LM, Verhaak PFM, de Bock GH, Berendsen AJ. Fatigue among Long-Term Breast Cancer Survivors: A Controlled Cross-Sectional Study. Cancers. 2021; 13(6):1301. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061301

Chicago/Turabian Style

Maass, Saskia W.M.C., Daan Brandenbarg, Liselotte M. Boerman, Peter F.M. Verhaak, Geertruida H. de Bock, and Annette J. Berendsen 2021. "Fatigue among Long-Term Breast Cancer Survivors: A Controlled Cross-Sectional Study" Cancers 13, no. 6: 1301. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061301

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