Bupa Health Foundation Health and Wellbeing after Breast Cancer Study


Breast cancer is currently the most common cancer in Australian women (excluding skin cancer), but over recent years with earlier diagnosis and improved treatments, outcomes and survival have improved significantly. As a result there are many women living in the community with the physical, psychological and socio-economic consequences of their treatment for breast cancer. The aim of this study is to gain information about those issues influencing the quality of life for women after they have been treated for breast cancer.

Victorian women who had their first diagnosis of breast cancer between June 2004 and December 2006 were eligible to join the study. Women taking part completed a yearly questionnaire about their health and wellbeing.

More than 2000 women registered an interest in taking part, resulting in a final cohort of 1,683 eligible women who completed the Enrolment Questionnaire. The final Follow-up Questionnaire was completed in March 2012.

The age at diagnosis and the area of residence of the participants in the study are similar in distribution to that of all women living in Victoria diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

The average age at diagnosis of the women in the study was 57.5 years. 103 women were less than 40 years old, 914 were between 40 and 60 years and 667 were older than 60 years. 67% of the participants were living in metropolitan Melbourne and 33% in regional Victoria. The women in the study are therefore a good representation of Victorian women diagnosed with breast cancer.

The evaluation of the data supplied is ongoing and a number of papers detailing the findings have been published.

We wish to pass on our gratitude to all the women who agreed to take part. Their continued support was invaluable to this study.