Cognitive function after adjuvant treatment for early breast cancer: a population-based longitudinal study

Jeanne Elisabeth Debess, Jens Østergaard Riis, Malene Cramer Engebjerg, Marianne Ewertz

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The purpose of this study was to examine
cognitive function in patients with early breast cancer
before and after adjuvant chemotherapy or 6 months of
tamoxifen. We performed a population-based study in the
county of North Jutland, Denmark, including 120 women
aged\60 years who received adjuvant chemotherapy with
seven cycles of cyclophosphamide, epirubicin and fluoruracil
or adjuvant tamoxifen for 6 months for early breast
cancer from 2004 to 2006. They were compared with an
aged-matched group of 208 women without previous cancer
selected randomly from the same population. Data were
collected before start of adjuvant treatment and after
6 months by neuropsychological tests and questionnaires to
evaluate cognitive function, quality of life and psychological
distress. Neuropsychological tests did not reveal
any differences in cognitive function between breast cancer
patients after chemotherapy and healthy controls. Patients
rated their own cognitive functions as improved after
6 months, and patients, who did not receive adjuvant
medical treatment, reached the same level as controls
within 6 months. Patients receiving chemotherapy or
tamoxifen were up to three times more likely than controls
to rate themselves as impaired at 6 months. Our results do
not support that adjuvant chemotherapy is associated with
cognitive side effects in breast cancer patients
TidsskriftBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Sider (fra-til)91-100
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 20 mar. 2010


  • Sygdom, sundhedsvidenskab og sygepleje
  • breast cancer
  • cognitive function
  • population-based longitudinal Study
  • psychological distress
  • quality of life