Health-Related Suffering and Palliative Care in Breast Cancer

Purpose of Review
Breast cancer continues to be the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women and the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. By the suffering that it causes in various domains of life, breast cancer seriously impacts the quality of life of affected individuals and causes a major burden of suffering in the community. The objectives of the review were to understand the health-related suffering in patients with breast cancer and to identify the scope of palliative care in improving the quality of life of patients with breast cancer.

Recent Findings
Breast cancer causes suffering in physical, psychological, social, financial, and spiritual domains of the lives of the patient and family. Management of breast cancer with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation could have adverse effects, such as pain, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, shortness of breath, depression, and constipation. Both cancer and its treatment can impact the psychosocial and spiritual well-being of the patient and family members. Integrating palliative care into existing breast cancer treatment programs seems to be the best approach to diminish these sufferings.

In addition to pain and other physical symptoms, breast cancer can cause major psychological, social, and spiritual suffering. In the context of developing countries, out-of-pocket expenditure can cause major financial destruction which can impact generations. Integration of palliative care to breast cancer treatment is essential.

Measuring socioeconomic outcomes in trauma patients up to one year post-discharge: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Trauma accounts for nearly one-tenth of the global disability-adjusted life-years, a large proportion of which is seen in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Trauma can affect employment opportunities, reduce social participation, be influenced by social support, and significantly reduce the quality of life (QOL) among survivors. Research typically focuses on specific trauma sub-groups. This dispersed knowledge results in limited understanding of these outcomes in trauma patients as a whole across different populations and settings. We aimed to assess and provide a systematic overview of current knowledge about return-to-work (RTW), participation, social support, and QOL in trauma patients up to one year after discharge.

We undertook a systematic review of the literature published since 2010 on RTW, participation, social support, and QOL in adult trauma populations, up to one year from discharge, utilizing the most commonly used measurement tools from three databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library. We performed a meta-analysis based on the type of outcome, tool for measurement, and the specific effect measure as well as assessed the methodological quality of the included studies.

A total of 43 articles were included. More than one-third (36%) of patients had not returned to work even a year after discharge. Those who did return to work took more than 3 months to do so. Trauma patients reported receiving moderate social support. There were no studies reporting social participation among trauma patients using the inclusion criteria. The QOL scores of the trauma patients did not reach the population norms or pre-injury levels even a year after discharge. Older adults and females tended to have poorer outcomes. Elderly individuals and females were under-represented in the studies. More than three-quarters of the included studies were from high-income countries (HICs) and had higher methodological quality.

RTW and QOL are affected by trauma even a year after discharge and the social support received was moderate, especially among elderly and female patients. Future studies should move towards building more high-quality evidence from LMICs on long-term socioeconomic outcomes including social support, participation and unpaid work.

Patient and Economic Burden of Presbyopia: A Systematic Literature Review

Purpose: The objective of this systematic literature review (SLR) was to collate, report, and critique published evidence related to epidemiology and patient and economic burden of presbyopia.

Patients and methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in MEDLINE®, Embase®, and Cochrane Library databases from the time of inception through October 2018 using Cochrane methodology. Studies published in English language reporting on epidemiology and patient and economic burden of presbyopia were included.

Results: Initial systematic literature search yielded 2,228 citations, of which 55 met the inclusion criteria (epidemiology, 44; patient burden, 14; economic burden, 1) and were included in this review. Globally, 1.09 billion people are estimated to be affected by presbyopia. The reported presbyopia prevalence varied across regions and by age groups, with the highest prevalence of 90% reported in the Latin America region in adults ≥35 years. Presbyopic patients report up to 22% decrease in quality-of-life (QoL) score, and up to 80% patients with uncorrected presbyopia report difficulty in performing near-vision related tasks. About 12% of presbyopes required help in performing routine activities, and these visual limitations reportedly induce distress and low self-esteem in presbyopia patients. Uncorrected presbyopia led to a 2-fold increased difficulty in near-vision-related tasks and a >8-fold increased difficulty in very demanding near-vision-related tasks. Further, uncorrected presbyopia leads to a decrement in patients’ QoL, evident by the low utility values reported in the literature. Annual global productivity losses due to uncorrected and under-corrected presbyopia in working-age population (<50 years) were estimated at US$ 11 billion (0.016% of the global domestic product (GDP) in 2011, which increased to US$ 25.4 billion if all people aged <65 years were assumed to be productive.

Conclusion: Uncorrected presbyopia affects patients' vision-related quality of life due to difficulty in performing near-vision-related tasks. In addition, un-/under-corrected presbyopia could lead to productivity losses in working-age adults.

Palliative surgery in gastrointestinal malignancy: experience from a regional cancer centre

Background: With so much burden of advanced incurable disease, the role of palliative surgery is paramount for gastrointestinal malignancies improving quality of life. Aim of the study was to study the indications, risks and outcome of palliative surgeries in gastrointestinal malignancies, the burden of disease requiring palliative surgery, and to describe strategies to improve end of life care.

Methods: All the patients diagnosed with gastrointestinal malignancy and who underwent palliative surgery between January 2017 and December 2017 were analysed.

Results: A total of 186 cases underwent palliative surgery. The most common age group affected was between 50-60 years and the mean age was 54.55 years. Stomach was the most common primary consisting of 58.60% followed by colorectal (23.66%), small intestine (9.68%), hepato-pacreatico-billiary (4.30%), and oesophageal (3.76%) primary. Major complications were seen in 4.84% of cases. Average symptomatic relief was observed for 5.5 months in cases of stomach and 7 months in case of colorectal malignancies. 35.48% cases were alive at the end of one year.

Conclusions: Present study concludes that palliative surgery improves quality of life of the patient, provides them with time to accept death and live rest of the life in a dignified manner.

Is Quality of Life After Mastectomy Comparable to That After Breast Conservation Surgery? A 5-year Follow Up Study From Mumbai, India

Breast cancer is the commonest cancer in women worldwide. Surgery is a central part of the treatment. Modified radical mastectomy (MRM) is often replaced by breast conserving therapy (BCT) in high-income countries. MRM is still the standard choice, in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) as radiotherapy, a mandatory component of BCT is not widely available. It is important to understand whether quality of life (QOL) after MRM is comparable to that after BCT. This has not been studied well in LMICs. We present, 5-year follow-up of QOL scores in breast cancer patients from India.

We interviewed women undergoing breast cancer surgery preoperatively, at 6 months after surgery, and at 1 year and 5 years, postoperatively. QOL scores were evaluated using FACT B questionnaire. Average QOL scores of women undergoing BCT were compared with those undergoing MRM. Total scores, domain scores and trends of scores over time were analyzed.

We interviewed 54 women with a mean age of 53 years (SD 9 ± years). QOL scores in all the women, dipped during the treatment period, in all subscales but improved thereafter and even surpassed the baseline in physical, emotional and breast-specific domains (p < 0.05) at 5 years. At the end of 5 years, there was no statistically significant difference between the MRM and BCT groups in any of the total or domain scores.

QOL scores in Indian women did not differ significantly between MRM and BCT in the long term. Both options are acceptable in the study setting.

Long-term repercussions of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in a low-income population: assessment ten years after surgery.

to evaluate the weight, nutritional and quality of life of low-income patients after ten years of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB).we conducted a longitudinal, retrospective and descriptive study evaluating the excess weight loss, weight regain, arterial hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, anemia and hypoalbuminemia in 42 patients of social classes D and E submitted to RYGB. We assessed quality of life through the Bariatric Analysis and Reporting Outcome System (BAROS).of the 42 patients, 68.3% defined themselves as doing non-regular physical activity, and only 44.4% and 11.9% had regular medical and nutritional follow-up, respectively. We found a mean excess weight loss of 75.6%±12 (CI=71.9-79.4), and in only one patient there was insufficient weight loss. The mean weight loss was 22.3%±16.2 (CI=17.2-27.3) with 64.04% of the sample presenting regain greater than 15% of the minimum weight; 52.3% of the sample presented anemia after ten years of surgery and 47.6%, iron deficiency. We found hypoalbuminemia in 16.6% of the sample. There was remission of hypertension in 66%, and of type 2 diabetes mellitus, in 50%. BAROS showed an improvement in the quality of life of 85.8% of the a population with different socioeconomic limitations, RYGB maintained satisfactory results regarding weight loss, but inefficient follow-up may compromise the final result, especially with regard to nutritional deficiencies.avaliar a evolução ponderal, nutricional e a qualidade de vida de pacientes de baixa renda, após dez anos de derivação gástrica em Y de Roux (DGYR).estudo longitudinal, retrospectivo e descritivo, que avaliou a perda do excesso de peso, o reganho de peso, a evolução da hipertensão arterial, do diabetes mellitus tipo 2, da anemia e da hipoalbuminemia em 42 pacientes de classes sociais D e E submetidos à DGYR. A qualidade de vida foi avaliada através do Bariatric Analysis and Reporting Outcome System (BAROS).dos 42 pacientes, 68,3% se definiram como não praticantes de atividade física regular, e somente 44,4% e 11,9% tinham acompanhamento médico e nutricional regulares, respectivamente. Foi encontrada média da perda do excesso de peso de 75,6%±12 (IC=71,9-79,4) e perda ponderal insuficiente apenas em um paciente. O reganho ponderal médio foi de 22,3%±16,2 (IC=17,2-27,3), com 64,04% da amostra apresentando reganho maior do que 15% do peso mínimo. 52,3% da amostra apresentou anemia após dez anos de cirurgia e 47,6% deficiência de ferro. Hipoalbuminemia foi encontrada em 16,6% da amostra. Houve remissão da HAS em 66% e do diabetes mellitus tipo 2 em 50%. O BAROS demonstrou melhora na qualidade de vida em 85,8% dos pacientes.pudemos observar, em uma população com diversas limitações socioeconômicas, que a DGYR manteve resultados satisfatórios quanto à perda peso, mas o seguimento ineficiente pode comprometer o resultado final, especialmente no que diz respeito às deficiências nutricionais.