Exploring the effects of genomic testing on fear of cancer recurrence among breast cancer survivors

Maurade Gormley, M. Tish Knobf, Allison Vorderstrasse, Bradley Aouizerat, Marilyn Hammer, Jason Fletcher, Gail D'Eramo Melkus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is the greatest unmet psychosocial need among breast cancer survivors (BCS). The Oncotype Dx® test predicts the 10-year risk of distant recurrence and benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy among women with early stage hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. Despite the test's clinical utility, psychosocial responses are poorly understood. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted to explore associations between Oncotype Dx® test results (Recurrence Score [RS]) and FCR, health-related quality of life (HRQOL), distress, anxiety, depression, illness representation and perceived risk. Bivariate analyses were used to examine the associations between variables followed by multiple linear regression to examine predictors of FCR. Results: Greater FCR was associated with higher distress, anxiety, depression, illness representation and poorer HRQOL. BCS's with a high Oncotype Dx® RS reported higher overall fear (p = 0.013) and greater perceived consequences of their cancer (p = 0.034) compared to BCS's with a low RS. Using multiple linear regression, anxiety ((Formula presented.) = 0.21, p = 0.016), greater emotional response (Formula presented.) = 0.45, p < 0.001) and perceived consequences ((Formula presented.) = 0.18, p = 0.039) of illness explained 58% of the variance (p < 0.001) in FCR. Conclusion: BCS's with higher risk of recurrence may experience higher FCR. However, for FCR, modifiable factors such as anxiety and illness representation (greater emotional response and perceived consequences of illness) may be more important than non-modifiable factors such as Oncotype Dx® test results and age. Further research is needed to develop personalized interventions to improve BCS's outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1322-1331
Number of pages10
JournalPsycho-Oncology
Volume30
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • breast cancer
  • cancer
  • fear of cancer recurrence
  • genomic testing
  • health-related quality of life
  • oncology
  • survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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