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Print version ISSN 0120-4157On-line version ISSN 2590-7379


MEJIA-ROJAS, María Elena; CONTRERAS-RENGIFO, Adolfo  and  HERNANDEZ-CARRILLO, Mauricio. Quality of life in women treated with chemotherapy for breast cancer in Cali, Colombia. Biomed. [online]. 2020, vol.40, n.2, pp.349-361.  Epub June 30, 2020. ISSN 0120-4157.


Breast cancer is a serious neoplasm that originates in mammary tissues whose treatment with chemotherapy seems to generate significant changes in the quality of life.


To determine the risk factors associated with health-related quality of life in women with breast cancer under chemotherapy in Cali, Colombia.

Materials and methods:

We conducted an observational, cross-sectional study with analytical components in a sample of 80 female patients using the QLQ-C30 questionnaire for cancer, and the QLQ-BR23 for breast cancer, as well as sociodemographic and clinical information. We performed a logistic regression analysis to determine associated risk factors through adjusted OR and 95% CI; the quality of life was classified using the QLQ-BR23.


The most relevant symptoms were fatigue, insomnia, and hair loss. Physical functionality, feelings of pleasure, and sexual activity were reduced. The factors associated with low quality of life were mammary symptoms (adjusted OR= 5.5; 95% CI: 1.2-24.8; p = 0.038), systemic therapy side effects (adjusted OR = 7.3; IC95%: 2.6-22.1; p = 0.012), lower sexual pleasure (adjusted OR = 1.8; IC95%: 1.2-11.8; p = 0.027) and reduction of expectations about the future (adjusted OR = 4.2; IC95%: 1.1-17.8; p = 0.045).


The quality of life in women with breast cancer and under chemotherapy was mainly affected by the side effects of the therapy; the most relevant signs and symptoms identified were hair loss, insomnia, and fatigue besides breast symptoms, lower physical functionality, and decreased sensation of sexual pleasure. We recommend intervention strategies aimed at improving the quality of life and the physical and emotional care of these patients.

Keywords : Breast neoplasms; quality of life; drug therapy; women’s health; Colombia.

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