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Quality of Life of Patients with Advanced Cervical Cancer before and after Chemo-radiotherapy

  • Dahiya, Neha (Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College) ;
  • Acharya, Anita S (Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College) ;
  • Bachani, Damodar (Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College) ;
  • Sharma, DN (Radiation Oncology, IRCH, All India Institute of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Gupta, Subhash (Radiation Oncology, IRCH, All India Institute of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Haresh, KP (Radiation Oncology, IRCH, All India Institute of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Rath, GK (Radiation Oncology, IRCH, All India Institute of Medical Sciences)
  • Published : 2016.07.01

Abstract

Background: Cervical cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women in India. Understanding quality of life (QOL) in women undergoing chemo-radiotherapy for cervical cancer will help in introducing interventions for better care and outcomes in these women. This study assessed QOL before and after chemo-radiotherapy in cervical cancer patients. Materials and Methods: This follow-up study covered sixty-seven newly diagnosed women with advanced cervical cancer (stages 2b to 4b). Structured questionnaires (the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, EORTC QLQ-C30 and EORTC QLQ-CX24) were used to assess the change in QOL after 6 months of treatment. Results: The mean age of women at the time of detection of cervical cancer was $52.3{\pm}11.29$ years (Range 30-75 years). Six months survival was 92.53%. The mean global health score of cervical cancer patients after six months of treatment was 59.52, which was significantly higher than the pre-treatment score of 50.15 (p=0.00007). Physical, cognitive and emotional functioning improved significantly (p<0.05) after treatment. Fatigue, pain, insomnia and appetite loss improved but episodes of diarrhea increased after treatment. The mean "symptoms score" using EORTC QLQ-CX24 post treatment was 20.0 which was significantly lower as compared to the pre- treatment score 30.0 (p<0.00001). Sexual enjoyment and sexual functioning decreased significantly after treatment. Conclusions: QOL of newly diagnosed cervical cancer patients improved significantly following chemo-radio therapy. Enhancement was also demonstrated on three of the five functional scales of EORTC QLQ-C30. To further improve QOL, interventions focusing on social and psychological support and physical rehabilitation may be needed.

Keywords

Cervical cancer;chemo-radiotherapy;quality of life;India

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