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Keywords:

  • survivor;
  • adaptation;
  • elderly;
  • breast;
  • endometrial

Abstract

Background: The study's objective was to test whether there were signfiicant differences in adjustment between younger and older breast and endometrial cancer survivors.

Methods: Two hundred and fifty-two breast and endometrial cancer survivors participated in this study, ranging in age from either 18 to 55 years old or 65 years old or older. Survivors were interviewed by telephone at study entry and 12 months, using a battery of measures to assess their adjustment, physical functioning, and treatment-related physical problems.

Results: With an average of 3.7 years since treatment completion, almost all survivors reported good adjustment to having had cancer. While most differences in psychosocial adjustment between groups were small, younger survivors reported significantly worse adaptation than older survivors, as measured by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS, p<0.0001), Appearance-Orientation Scale (AOS, body image; p=0.02), Fear of Recurrence (p<0.0001), Distress about Long-term Treatment-Related Cancer Problems (p=0.01), and Number of Sexual Problems Attributed to Cancer (p<0.0001).

Conclusion: Survivors reported few cancer-related problems with only a small subset reporting problems in adjustment. Although differences were small, younger cancer survivors reported significantly worse adaptation than older survivors. Much of the adaptation to having had cancer may have already occurred in long-term survivors. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.