Quality of Life – Metastatic Breast Cancer
What is quality of life?
“Quality of life” describes your overall well-being, including:
- Emotional and physical health
- Ability to perform daily roles
- Sexuality and intimacy
- Pain, fatigue and other side effects of treatment or the breast cancer itself
Non-health issues, such as financial concerns, are also part of quality of life.
Komen Financial Assistance Program
Susan G. Komen® created the Komen Financial Assistance Program to help those struggling with the costs of breast cancer treatment by providing financial assistance to eligible individuals.
Funding is available for eligible individuals undergoing breast cancer treatment at any stage or living with metastatic breast cancer (stage IV).
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Quality of life issues
Although important for everyone with breast cancer, quality of life issues are especially important for people with metastatic breast cancer.
Managing side effects and other issues that affect your quality of life is a main part of your care. You should never feel you have to endure pain or other side effects.
Talk with your health care provider about any issues affecting your quality of life.
- Bone care
- Fatigue and sleeping problems (insomnia)
- Fear of dying
- Loss of appetite and nausea
- Other symptoms
Susan G. Komen®‘s Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Impact Series
Susan G. Komen’s free MBC Impact Series provides people living with metastatic breast cancer and their loved ones a safe, space to gather information related to MBC and discover practical resources to help make decisions for improved physical and emotional health. To learn more and register visit www.komen.org/mbcseries.
After treatment for breast cancer ends
At some point, you may decide to stop active treatments for the cancer. This can happen when treatment stops showing a benefit or when it greatly affects your quality of life.
Once treatment is stopped, reducing pain and other side effects becomes the main focus of care, rather than a part of treatment.
This can be a very difficult time. Your health care provider or hospital can arrange for counseling or a support group.
Hospice care can make this later stage of care as comfortable as possible.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) website has information on end-of-life planning and care, including questions you may want to ask your health care provider.
The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has a guide for patients and their families to help make decisions on end-of-life care.
SUSAN G. KOMEN® SUPPORT RESOURCES