Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare differences in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) between African-American female breast cancer survivors, African-American female survivors of other cancers, and African-American women with no history of cancer.
Methods: Using data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), the HRQOL of African-American women aged 35 years or older was compared by cancer status. Physical and mental health items from the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) global health scale were used to assess differences in HRQOL.
Results: For summary physical and mental health measures, no significant differences were found between breast cancer survivors and women with no history of cancer; survivors of other cancers reported poorer physical and mental health than did women with no history of cancer. Similar differences were found at the item level. When we examined the two African-American female cancer survivor groups, we found that cancer survivors whose cancer was being treated reported substantially poorer physical health and mental health than did those whose cancer was not being treated. Survivors who had private insurance and were cancer free reported better physical and mental health than did those who did not have private insurance and those who were not cancer free. Breast cancer survivors reported slightly better physical and mental health than did survivors of other cancers.
Conclusions: Our findings highlight the need for public health agencies to adopt practices to improve the mental and physical health of African-American female survivors of cancer.
Keywords: African American; Breast cancer; Cancer; Female; Health-related quality of life; Oncology.