Changes in acute and late toxicity and patient-reported health-related quality of life following radiotherapy in women with breast cancer: A 1-year longitudinal study

Uslu G. H., Aydin A., Gürsoy A.

Journal of Integrative Nursing, vol.6, no.1, pp.15-21, 2024 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.4103/jin.jin_122_23
  • Journal Name: Journal of Integrative Nursing
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.15-21
  • Keywords: Breast cancer, health-related quality of life, radiotherapy, toxicity
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the frequency of acute and late toxicities, as well as changes in the quality of life (QOL) for breast cancer patients following radiotherapy (RT). Materials and Methods: A total of 108 breast cancer women were recruited for this prospective study. Data were collected at various intervals; prior to, and 1, 3, 6 months, and 1 year after radiation therapy. The primary outcomes were toxicity radiation therapy oncology group/European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) criteria. Our secondary outcome was QOL, measured using EORTC QLQ-C30 and Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale. We employed Friedman's two-way analysis to evaluate the changes in QOL over the course of 1 year. Results: The early toxicities that are most commonly experienced include pharyngeal, skin, and mucous membrane toxicity. Late toxicities frequently involve skin and submucosal toxicity. To measure patient functionality, all functional subscale scores except for the patient's emotional state increased over time compared to pre-RT. Symptoms of the patients, which were included in the QOL symptom scale, decreased during the follow-up period, except for fatigue; however, changes in pain, insomnia, and loss of appetite did not significantly change. We identified the analogous symptom profiles in Edmonton. Although patients' overall health scores declined in the 1 st and 3 rd months after radiotherapy (RT), they rebounded at 6 and 12 months. Conclusion: For breast cancer patients, RT did not adversely affect functional capacity or exacerbate symptoms, but persistent fatigue did increase during the observation period. Health-care professionals ought to devise strategies to assist patients with skin toxicity and fatigue.