Menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors.

Janet Carpenter, M. A. Andrykowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To examine the prevalence and severity of menopausal symptoms among breast cancer survivors and the relationship between menopausal symptoms and quality of life (QOL). DESIGN: Cross-sectional, descriptive. SETTING: Outpatient breast care center servicing a southeastern city and regional rural areas. SAMPLE: 114 postmenopausal breast cancer survivors with a mean age of 59 years (SD = 10; range = 36-83 years) who were a mean of 34.9 months postcompletion of surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy (SD = 22; range = 4-116 months). METHODS: Telephone interviews were used to assess demographic variables, menopausal status (questions adapted from the Massachusetts Women's Health Study), menopausal symptoms (adapted from the Blatt Menopausal Index), and QOL (SF-12 Health Survey). Disease and treatment information was extracted from medical records and the state cancer registry. MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES: Menopausal status, menopausal symptoms, and QOL. FINDINGS: The most commonly reported menopausal symptoms (joint pain (77%), feeling tired (75%), trouble sleeping (68%), and hot flashes (66%)) were also the most severe. More than 40% of breast cancer survivors who reported these symptoms rated them as "quite a bit" to "extremely" severe. The total number and severity of symptoms reported was significantly related to the number of years postmenopause but not to time postdiagnosis. Higher prevalence and severity of menopausal symptoms were related to lower physical and emotional QOL. CONCLUSIONS: Menopausal symptoms appear to be a significant problem for breast cancer survivors. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Nurses can inform women that menopausal symptoms may be experienced following breast cancer treatment and that these symptoms may be more severe than those experienced by healthy women without cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1311-1317
Number of pages7
JournalOncology Nursing Forum
Volume26
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes

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Survivors
Breast Neoplasms
Quality of Life
Hot Flashes
Postmenopause
Arthralgia
Women's Health
Ambulatory Care
Health Surveys
Medical Records
Registries
Neoplasms
Emotions
Breast
Nursing
Radiotherapy
Nurses
Demography
Interviews
Drug Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)

Cite this

Menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors. / Carpenter, Janet; Andrykowski, M. A.

In: Oncology Nursing Forum, Vol. 26, No. 8, 09.1999, p. 1311-1317.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Carpenter, J & Andrykowski, MA 1999, 'Menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors.', Oncology Nursing Forum, vol. 26, no. 8, pp. 1311-1317.
Carpenter, Janet ; Andrykowski, M. A. / Menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors. In: Oncology Nursing Forum. 1999 ; Vol. 26, No. 8. pp. 1311-1317.
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