Health related quality of life of breast cancer patients at Kenyatta National Hospital
Background: Breast cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related morbidity and mortality. The diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer affects quality of life of patients, especially in our set-up in Kenya where majority of breast cancer patients are relatively young. There are several interventions that have been shown to improve quality of life in breast cancer patients. Objective: We set out to determine the health-related quality of life of breast cancer patients receiving cancer-specific treatment at the Haemato-oncology clinic and Cancer Treatment Centre of Kenyatta National Hospital. Methods: The study is a cross-sectional descriptive study carried out at the Haematooncology clinic and Cancer Treatment Centre of Kenyatta National Hospital over a 4 month period. Adults over the age of 18 years who had tissue diagnosis of breast cancer were interviewed using EORTC QLQ-C30/BR23, a validated tool for measuring quality of life in cancer patients. Results: A total of 142 patients (139 female and 3 males) were studied, with a mean age of 49.4 years (rang ~ 2S-73). The mean scores for global quality of life and other domains of quality oflife screened for are as follows (possible scores range 0-100): Global quality of life 6S.S (SD 19.9), physical function 84.S(SD 14.2), role function 79.S(SD 27.3), emotional function 86.4(SD 17), cognitive function 83.6(SD 23.1), social function 89(SD 19.1), future perspective 66.9 (SD 34.2), and sexual function 19.4 (SD 2S.9). Mean scores for the domains of symptom scales were as follows: fatigue 22.1 (SD 21.2), upset by hair loss 23.1(SD 3S.9), pain 19.4(SD 2S.3), and financial difficulty 71.8(SD 33.3). Marriage and having an education were associated with better role (p 0.001 and p 0.001 respectively) and cognitive function (p O.OOS and p 0.004 respectively). Conclusion: Quality of life and functional scale scores in ahese breast cancer patients is good, with low symptom burden. However, they have low sexual function and high financial burden.