Parenting concerns are a major factor contributing to the psychological distress of women with late-stage cancer, and are associated with a lower quality of life, a study has found.
Researchers found that mothers with advanced cancers, such as breast cancer, have more depression and anxiety. Parenting concerns made up 39 percent of the decline in quality of life scores in these patients, which was almost at the same level as declines in day-to-day physical functioning.
Led by researchers at the University of North Carolina’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, the study, “Understanding health‐related quality of life in adult women with metastatic cancer who have dependent children,” was published in the journal Cancer.
“As part of cancer care, we ask about patients’ functional status, and how they are responding to treatment, but we are not systematically asking how cancer impacts our patients as parents, yet we know being a parent is incredibly important to their identity and well-being,” Eliza M. Park, MD, lead author of the study and an assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Department of Medicine, said in a press release.
“Among women with metastatic cancer, their health-related quality of life is powerfully interlinked with their parenting concerns about the impact of their illness on their minor children. It appears to equally contribute to someone’s assessment of their…
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