Background: The incidence of breast cancer in young patients less than 35 years is less than 1%. The physical and psychosocial morbidity may affect their ability to successfully function in their social roles. Hence we studied the quality of life (QOL) issues in this subset.
Materials and methods: Younger women with age less than 35 years, diagnosed with non-metastatic breast cancer at our Institute, from 1995 to 2005, were included in the study. Quality of life issues were studied during the follow-up using EORTC QOL C30 and BR23. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used in order to analyze the data.
Results: A total of 51 patients were included for the study. The mean age at diagnosis was 30 years. The effect of breast cancer on the occupation and marital status was minimal. The global health status and the functional scores were high, while the overall sexual function was lower. The global health status was higher in the mastectomy group. The arm symptoms (P = 0.027) and pain were higher in the Breast conservation surgery (BCS) group. The sexual symptoms appeared to be higher in the ovary ablated group when compared to the ovary preserved group. The sexual functional scores (P = 0.02) and sexual enjoyment scores (P = 0.003) were better in the mastectomy group.
Conclusion: The overall QOL in younger patients with breast cancer appeared to be good. The QOL and sexual function were marginally worse in the breast conservation group when compared to mastectomy group.