The objective of the present study is two-fold: to compare physical and mental components of quality of life between people that survive cancer and people with endocrine diseases (diabetes 1 and 2), neurologic diseases (epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis), and morbid obesity, with a stable illness and a diagnosis for longer than three years; and to compare cancer survivors with persons without disease.
The participants are 106 surviving cancer patients, with a mean age of 48 years (sd=9.71), 79.2% female, with a diagnosis between three and 41 years, 117 endocrine, 199 neurologic, and 205 obese patients, with more than 18 years of age. All returned to normal daily life after diagnosis and treatment. They answered a demographic questionnaire and the SF-36 - a 36 item self report questionnaire about health perception, used as a quality of life questionnaire, which includes eight dimensions that can be grouped into two components, mental and physical. Data was collected in a medical care setting and all participants filled the informed consent form according with the Helsinki declaration rules and the local law.
Results show that for the physical component there are no statistically significant differences between the four disease groups and that regarding the mental component there are statistically significant differences between the obesity group and the cancer group, with the cancer survivors reporting better mental health. Comparisons between cancer survivors and people from the community without disease, paired for gender and age, show that 35.8% of cancer survivors report better physical health than the community sample, and 50,5% better mental health.
Results suggest that cancer survivors do not differ from people with other chronic diseases except for morbid obesity and the mental component: comparison with people from the community shows no significant differences regarding quality of life.