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Article first published online: 4 SEP 2009
Copyright © 2009 American Cancer Society
Supplement: Cancer Survivorship Research: Mapping the New Challenges Atlanta, Georgia, Supplement to Cancer
Volume 115, Issue Supplement 18, pages 4283–4297, 15 September 2009
How to Cite
Lazovich, D., Robien, K., Cutler, G., Virnig, B. and Sweeney, C. (2009), Quality of life in a prospective cohort of elderly women with and without cancer. Cancer, 115: 4283–4297. doi: 10.1002/cncr.24580
Cosponsored by the National Cancer Institute's Office of Cancer Survivorship, the Office of Cancer Survivorship of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Cancer Society's Behavioral Research Center.
Presented at the Fourth Biennial Cancer Survivorship Research Conference entitled “Cancer Survivorship Research: Mapping the New Challenges,” Atlanta, Georgia, June 18-20, 2008.
- Issue published online: 4 SEP 2009
- Article first published online: 4 SEP 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 MAR 2009
- Manuscript Received: 26 JAN 2009
- National Cancer Institute award. Grant Number: R01 CA39742
- cancer survivors;
- quality of life
Quality of life (QOL) is an important issue for cancer survivors; few studies are able to consider elderly populations, address long-term survival (≥5 years), examine different cancers, or include a valid noncancer comparison group.
The authors assessed QOL in 2004 among women participating in the Iowa Women's Health Study, a prospective cohort of older women followed since 1986. Cancer occurrence during follow-up was identified through the State Health Registry of Iowa. The authors compared unadjusted, and age- and comorbidity-adjusted mean scores for 8 Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) scales among women with and without cancer by all cancer types, stage, and survival. Analyses were repeated after excluding women who developed a second primary cancer or reported cancer treatment in 2004.
Among 17,385 respondents aged 71-89 years, 2717 (16.6%) had been diagnosed with cancer since 1986. Compared with women without cancer, survivors fared worse on the General Health scale, regardless of cancer type (except colorectal), stage, or survival. Except for lower scores among the longest survivors, Mental Health scores did not differ significantly between women with and without cancer. Women with genitourinary, lung, hematopoietic, lymphoma, or other gastrointestinal cancers, with cancer at the distant stage, or who survived at least 10 years consistently experienced significantly lower QOL scores than cancer-free women for most scales.
Differences in QOL depended upon the specific SF-36 scale and which aspect of cancer survivorship was examined. These findings underscore the complexity of factors contributing to QOL among cancer survivors. Cancer 2009;115(18 suppl):4283–97. © 2009 American Cancer Society.