Purpose: We conducted a prospective observational study for premenopausal women receiving adjuvant adriamycin and cyclophosphamide-containing regimens to define the pattern of chemotherapy-induced amenorrhea (CIA), the menopause-specific quality of life (MENQOL), and the hormone profiles. Methods: From October 2003 to July 2007, 387 patients with breast cancer who underwent curative surgery were prospectively included. Patient self-assessment by MENQOL questionnaires and blood samples for hormone assays were taken before chemotherapy, and 1, 6, and 12 months after chemotherapy was completed. Results: Patients were categorized into three groups according to their duration and reversibility of amenorrhea, with 312 eligible patients split into long-term CIA (n = 180, 57.7 %), temporary CIA (n = 113, 36.2 %), and menstrual irregularity (n = 19, 6.1 %) groups. Risk factors for long-term CIA were identified as age ≥40 years (p < 0.001), the addition of taxane (p = 0.01), and tamoxifen use (p = 0.03). MENQOL was worst immediately after the completion of adjuvant chemotherapy, and this was not fully recovered even 12 months after chemotherapy had finished. Age ≥40 years and tamoxifen exposure were inversely associated with MENQOL. In long-term CIA patients, the level of follicle-stimulating hormone increased after chemotherapy; this level, however, was reduced in patients who received tamoxifen, but remained high and stable in those who did not (p < 0.001 at 6 months; p < 0.001 at 12 months). Conclusion: This study showed that most premenopausal breast cancer patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy experienced clinically significant CIA, followed by impaired MENQOL. Our findings may be relevant in the decision-making processes for premenopausal women with breast cancer.
- Breast cancer
- Chemotherapy-induced amenorrhea
- Quality of life