Asian Oncol Nurs.  2015 Jun;15(2):67-74. 10.5388/aon.2015.15.2.67.

Changes of Symptom Distress and Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Adjuvant Therapy

  • 1College of Nursing, Ajou University, Suwon, Korea.
  • 2Department of Nursing, Dong-A University, Busan, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to identify changes of symptom distress and quality of life (QOL) in breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant therapy.
113 patients with breast cancer were administered the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale-Short Form and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast before adjuvant therapy, both a week and 6 months after completing adjuvant therapy. 71 patients (CTx group) were treated with adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy. 42 patients (RTx group) received only adjuvant radiotherapy. Data were analysed using the SPSS/Win 21.0 program.
Compared with the RTx group, patients in the CTx group reported higher overall symptom distress and physical symptom distress. The CTx group reported lower scores in overall QOL, physical well-being and the breast cancer specific domain than the RTx group.
Findings from this study support that chemotherapy results in higher risk for more severe symptoms and leads to impaired QOL for breast cancer patients. Comprehensive symptom management should be implemented for breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.


Breast Neoplasms; Adjuvant Chemotherapy; Adjuvant Radiotherapy; Quality of Life; Symptoms

MeSH Terms

Breast Neoplasms*
Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
Drug Therapy
Quality of Life*
Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
Symptom Assessment
Surveys and Questionnaires

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