Hello Everyone,

I hope this post finds you all well and that you don't mind me posting here.

I have been looking at cancer quality of life in terms of physical, social, emotional, and functional well-being. The main issues people with breast cancer are confronted with appear to be emotional as opposed to physical, social or functional. Inevitably, physical, social and functional well-being is affected by cancer and its treatment, but emotional well-being is the area which is affected the most in those people who completed questionnaires for me. More specifically, 69% of the people in my study feel sad, 73% feel nervous, 66% worry about the future, 80% worry that their condition will get worse, and 84% worry that other member’s of their family will one day develop breast cancer. Since 83% of the people in this study also worry about the impact that stress will have on their illness, then it is especially important to ease some of this emotional burden so that they can place more energy into their health, coping, and well-being.

Another finding has been that levels of satisfaction with information received about cancer and any subsequent treatment can actually predict quality of life in people with breast cancer. So, those who are more satisfied with the information they have received are also more likely to have a better quality of life than those who are less satisfied with the information. This is likely to be related to the emotional impact of cancer and the need for information that will facilitate a better understanding of the condition and possibly ease anxieties.

I started my work with a clear focus of looking at overall quality of life, but with the help of people like yourself I am now interested in focusing more on the emotional aspects of quality of life in the hope that we might be able to develop ways to improve emotional well-being throughout the cancer experience.

With this in mind, my next step is to examine emotional well-being in people who are undergoing chemotherapy at two points in time: during their treatment and then two months after the treatment is finished. I think this will give me a good understanding of how emotional well-being changes throughout the diagnosis and treatment process. This will hopefully also enable me to identify the prime time for extra emotional support. Is there anyone here who is currently undergoing chemotherapy who would be interested in taking part?

To help you make an informed decision, I will briefly explain what your involvement would entail:

• Answering three questionnaires during your chemotherapy
• Answering three questionnaires approximately two months after your chemotherapy has finished

The three questionnaires to be completed are:

• A questionnaire measuring the way you think about your health
• A questionnaire measuring your quality of life
• A questionnaire asking you about your emotional well-being

The process can be directed by yourself and to your convenience. For example, I can email questionnaires or send them to you via post. I will, of course, supply a stamped addressed envelope for the returning of the questionnaires.

I would like to highlight that any findings will not be identifiable to you as I will be using pseudonyms in any write-ups that I produce. Furthermore, I will be more than happy to send results and publications to those who take part, if they so wish.

If you have any questions at all, please let me know; my email can be found at the bottom of this letter. It would be lovely to hear from you and to share in your stories. This is an immensely important area of work and you are the best people to raise awareness on how we can improve the care provided to those experiencing cancer.

Thank you for your time.

Best Wishes,

Nicola

**edited by moderator**