Quality of life, lifestyle behavior and employment experience: A comparison between young and midlife survivors of gynecology early stage cancers

G. Bifulco, N. De Rosa, M. L. Tornesello, R. Piccoli, A. Bertrando, G. Lavitola, I. Morra, A. Di Spiezio Sardo, F. M. Buonaguro, C. Nappi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Goals: To evaluate differences and changes in quality of life (QoL), lifestyle behavior and employment experience of young in comparison to midlife adults in response to early stage gynecologic cancer diagnoses. Methods: 263 patients, divided into two age groups (Group A: ≤ 45 and Group B: > 45 years), were interviewed on their QoL, lifestyle behavior (dietary habits, tobacco and alcohol use, physical activity) and employment experience (employment status and working time) at diagnosis and within 4 years from the treatment. The QoL was evaluated by European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 (QLQ-C30) and its specific modules for each cancer type (in particular endometrium, cervix, ovarian and breast). Results: Global health status was significantly different between the two groups. In the younger age group a more relevant cancer interference on family life and social activities and a greater impact on perception of health status have been observed. Young women were more affected by fatigue, constipation, gastrointestinal symptoms, lymphedema, poor body image and impaired sexuality. Cancer diagnosis had a major negative impact on employment of younger patients. Conversely, younger patients had overall better health behavior. They reported a higher daily intake of fruits and vegetables, along with lower alcohol consumption, furthermore they were a little more physically active than midlife adults. Conclusions: To enhance quality of life and to promote healthy lifestyle behavior of female cancer patients, particularly in younger age, it is essential to assure multidisciplinary approaches with specific medical intervention and psychosocial supports. Indeed, midlife adults seem to have a more rapid adaptive tendency to return towards levels of well-being, following cancer diagnosis and treatment, than younger patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-451
Number of pages8
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Age
  • Breast cancer
  • Employment
  • Gynecologic cancers
  • Lifestyle
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Oncology


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