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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 760

Quality of life assessment in breast cancer patients: The need for stratification of patients, and of the use of appropriate questionnaires


Department of Radiation Oncology, HealthCare Global, Bangalore Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication11-Feb-2014

Correspondence Address:
Swaroop Revannasiddaiah
Department of Radiation Oncology, Health Care Global, Bangalore Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.126496

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How to cite this article:
Revannasiddaiah S, Rao N, Susheela SP, Bilimagga RS. Quality of life assessment in breast cancer patients: The need for stratification of patients, and of the use of appropriate questionnaires. J Can Res Ther 2013;9:760

How to cite this URL:
Revannasiddaiah S, Rao N, Susheela SP, Bilimagga RS. Quality of life assessment in breast cancer patients: The need for stratification of patients, and of the use of appropriate questionnaires. J Can Res Ther [serial online] 2013 [cited 2019 Nov 21];9:760. Available from: http://www.cancerjournal.net/text.asp?2013/9/4/760/126496

Sir,

We first express our appreciation towards the authors Wani SQ et al., for their recent study titled 'Quality of life assessment in survivors of breast cancer' (published in the April-June 2012 edition of the JCRT). [1] It is heartening to notice some much deserved attention towards quality of life (QOL) in oncology, which otherwise is an often neglected issue. However, there are a few concerns regarding the methodology of their study.

Firstly, the authors have explicitly stated that there have been no attempts at stratifying patients with regards to the stage of disease. This is of particular concern given that the stage of disease in itself can affect QOL. Further, the intensity (and duration) of treatment for breast cancer increases with increasing stage of disease. [2] It is undeniable that the QOL can be affected by the intensity of treatment - as an example, a patient of metastatic breast cancer who needs the use of prolonged chemotherapy, focal palliative radiotherapy, hormonal therapy and trastuzumab will be more likely to have a poorer QOL in comparison to a patient of early breast cancer who has undergone a relatively short treatment comprising breast conservation surgery followed by radiotherapy.

Thus, if patients had been stratified with regards to the stage of disease, it could have been possible to demonstrate the effects of stage, as well as the effects of the varying intensities of treatments for different stages, upon QOL.

Additionally, we seek to know the mode of data collection with the use of the EORTC-QLC-C30 questionnaire. It is unlikely that the patients were provided the original version of the questionnaire, which is available in the English language. If translated versions were used, it is of prime importance that validated translations were used. [3]

Lastly, we seek to know as to why the EORTC-QLC-BR23, a breast-cancer specific questionnaire was not made use of in this study. [4]

 
 > References Top

1.Wani SQ, Khan T, Teeli AM, Khan NA, Wani SY, Ul-HassanA. Quality of life assessment in survivors of breast cancer. J Cancer Res Ther 2012;8:272-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Siegel R, Desantis C, Virgo K, Stein K, Mariotto A, Smith T, et al. Cancer treatment and survivorship statistics, 2012. CA Cancer J Clin 2012;62:220-41.  Back to cited text no. 2
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3.Sprangers MA, Groenvold M, Arraras JI, Franklin J, teVelde A, Muller M, et al. The European organization for research and treatment of cancer breast cancer-specific quality-of-life questionnaire module: First results from a three-country field study. J ClinOncol 1996;14:2756-68.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Zawisza K, Tobiasz-Adamczyk B, Nowak W, Kulig J, Jedrys J. Validity and reliability of the quality of life questionnaire (EORTC QLQ C30) and its breast cancer module (EORTC QLQ BR23). Ginekol Pol 2010;81:262-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
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