Psychological morbidity in women diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ compared with women with early breast cancer receiving radiotherapy
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Despite having an excellent prognosis, patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) report significant anxiety and depression following diagnosis. This study evaluated psychological morbidity using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) in patients with DCIS compared with women with early-stage invasive breast cancer (EIBC) receiving radiotherapy (RT).
We identified patients diagnosed with DCIS or EIBC (stage I or II breast cancer) from 2011 to 2017 who had at least one ESAS completed pre- and post-RT. Data on systemic treatment, radiation, patient demographics, and disease stage were extracted from existing databases. Psychological morbidity was evaluated through measurement of depression, anxiety, and overall wellbeing within the ESAS. The Wilcoxon rank-sum test or chi-square test was performed for continuous or categorical variables.
This study included 137 women with DCIS and 963 women with EIBC. ESAS was completed on average 28 days before RT (baseline) and 142 days after RT. Baseline ESAS scores showed significantly higher rates of depression among women with EIBC compared with those with DCIS (p = 0.006). Patients with EIBC also reported higher levels of anxiety and lower overall wellbeing than patients with DCIS, but this difference was not statistically significant. Post-RT ESAS scores showed significantly higher anxiety in patients with EIBC compared with DCIS (p = 0.049). Post-RT measures of anxiety and overall wellbeing were higher in patients with EIBC but differences were not statistically significant.
Women with DCIS experience relatively less psychological morbidity than women with EIBC, pre- and post-RT.
KeywordsRadiotherapy DCIS Early breast cancer Anxiety Depression Quality of life ESAS
This study received financial support of Bratty Family Fund, Michael and Karyn Goldstein Cancer Research Fund, Joey and Mary Furfari Cancer Research Fund, Pulenzas Cancer Research Fund, Joseph and Silvana Melara Cancer Research Fund, and Ofelia Cancer Research Fund.
Compliance with ethical standards
This study was approved by the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre research ethics board (REB #151-2017).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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