Principle Investigator: Deanne Tibbitts, PhD
Student Investigator: Alex Speers
Abstract: Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) has become an important outcome measure in breast cancer research. Because breast cancer preferentially affects older women, HRQOL studies in this population are especially important. Research conducted over the past two decades has found that HRQOL among older women with breast cancer (OWBC) significantly declines in the year following a breast cancer diagnosis, but it is currently unknown whether the magnitude of this negative effect has changed over time. To address this, we propose an analysis of secular trends in HRQOL from 1998-2013 among OWBC using data collected from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Medicare Health
Outcomes: Survey (SEER-MHOS) database. Using date of diagnosis as a continuous variable, secular trends in HRQOL among OWBC will be analyzed for women ≥65 years of age for whom HRQOL data were collected within six months post-diagnosis. This study will show how the negative effect of a breast cancer diagnosis on HRQOL among OWBC has changed over a period of time when cancer screening, treatment, and diagnosis have dramatically improved.