Surviving breast cancer: an urban-rural comparative study

Start Year: 2006
Finish Year: 2009
Chief Investigator: Ms Tracey Di Sipio
Grant Type: Fellowships
Institution: Queensland University of Technology

Doctoral Research Scholarship

Women with breast cancer are now one of the largest groups of cancer survivors. Unfortunately, survivorship is fraught with diminished upper-body function (UBF) and quality of life (QoL). In addition, women with breast cancer living in rural and remote areas of Australia may be disadvantaged in their access to services, supportive care and follow-up, which could affect their UBF and, in turn, QoL.

Understanding the specific characteristics and exposures that influence UBF and QoL and how they differ between rural and urban women diagnosed with breast cancer, is necessary to inform health services and interventions. There is also a need to objectively assess the current QoL among Australian breast cancer survivors and how it compares to a non-cancer population in order to learn what domains require attention within interventions. Furthermore, there is a need to explore how residential location, socio-demographic, medical factors and health behaviours influence UBF and QoL among Australian women with breast cancer.

This research aims to describe the UBF and QoL in the first 12 months after breast cancer diagnosis among rural, regional and urban survivors, compared with healthy women in Queensland.