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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 289-296

Problems of breast cancer survivors living in an urban area of Nepal

1 Department of Nursing, Nepal Medical College Pvt. Ltd., Kathmandu, Nepal
2 Department of Nursing, Nepal Cancer Hospital and Research Center, Lalitpur, Nepal
3 Department of Nephrology, Chitwan Medical College, Kathmandu, Nepal
4 Department of Nursing, B.P. Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital, Bharatpur, Nepal
5 Community Medicine, Medical College Pvt. Ltd., Kathmandu, Nepal

Correspondence Address:
Abja Sapkota
Department of Nursing, Nepal Medical College Pvt. Ltd., Kathmandu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-5625.189818

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Objective: The main objective of this study was to identify the problems of Nepalese breast cancer survivors living in an urban area who had completed their treatment for at least 6 months. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted to assess the problems of breast cancer survivors who were registered at the Nepal Cancer Support Group. Fifty-one women who were diagnosed with breast cancer (Stage 0 to III) and were currently disease-free were enrolled in the study. They were interviewed using structured interview schedule using the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial Symptom Scale. Statistical analysis was carried out with SPSS (version 16). Results: The mean age of the women at the time of enrollment was 47.3 years. The most common modality of treatment they received was the combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy (84%). Top five symptoms experienced by the survivors on the basis of frequency and severity were tiredness (61%), lack of energy (57%), forgetfulness (57%), lack of interest in sex (52%), general body aches (49%), and feeling of worrisome and anxiousness about future (49%). Women with age <45 years at diagnosis had higher mean rank score in psychological (24.7) and social problems (23.9) in comparison to women aged ≥45 years. There was a significant relationship between severe psychological (34.9 vs. 19.6; P = 0.001) and social problems (29.1 vs. 21.2; P = 0.03), with the time since primary treatment completion of <1 year. Conclusions: Nepalese breast cancer survivors were found to have multiple physical, psychological, and social problems and might require special attention during follow-up visits.

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