Study Reveals Socioeconomic Statuss Profound Effects on Breast Cancer Patients Quality of Life

Study Reveals Socioeconomic Status's Profound Effects on Breast Cancer Patients' Quality of Life


Socioeconomic Status Significantly Impacts Quality of Life for Breast Cancer Patients

Disparities Persist Despite Equal Access to Healthcare

A comprehensive study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has shed light on the significant impact socioeconomic status has on the quality of life of breast cancer patients. Researchers from the University of Geneva, University Hospitals of Geneva, Inserm, and Gustave Roussy tracked nearly 6,000 women diagnosed with early breast cancer over a two-year period. Their findings show that women from lower socioeconomic backgrounds experience persistent disparities in quality of life compared to their more affluent counterparts.

Quality of Life Assessment

The study assessed five key areas of quality of life: general tiredness, psychological state, sexual health, and side effects. Socioeconomic indicators such as level of education, household income, and perceived financial situation were used to determine socioeconomic status.

Unequal Outcomes from Diagnosis to Two Years Post-Diagnosis

The study revealed that at the time of diagnosis, the difference in quality of life between women from the highest and lowest socioeconomic groups was significant. This gap further widened during treatment, reaching its peak during the second year after diagnosis, and remained elevated thereafter.

“We were surprised to find that these inequalities increased rapidly and persisted for so long,” said José Sandoval, oncologist at the HUG Department of Oncology and lead author of the study. “The impact on quality of life for women with fewer resources was much more pronounced, irrespective of the characteristics of their cancer or the treatment they received.”

Support Systems Vital for Mitigating Disparities

The researchers believe that the observed disparities are not primarily due to variations in medical treatment. Instead, they suggest that access to support systems, financial resources, and time for self-care play a crucial role.

“Having the time, money, and support to manage the physical and psychological effects of the disease can be more challenging for women from lower socioeconomic groups,” explained Sandoval. “These factors influence the disease’s impact on their health and well-being.”

Policy Implications

The study’s findings underscore the need for healthcare systems to consider socioeconomic factors in providing support to breast cancer patients.

“Precision oncology should encompass the entire person, including social factors,” said the authors. “Our data suggests that in countries without universal healthcare, these inequalities are likely to be even more pronounced.”


The study highlights the lasting and significant impact of socioeconomic status on the quality of life of breast cancer patients. By acknowledging and addressing these disparities, healthcare systems can work towards providing equitable support for all affected individuals.


Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *