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Patient-reported QoL in anal cancer survivors 3 and 6 years after treatment-results from the Swedish national ANCA study

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  • Anna Axelsson
  • Mia Johansson
  • David Bock
  • Eva Haglind
  • Hanna de la Croix
  • Per J Nilsson
  • Eva Angenete
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PURPOSE: The impact of anal cancer treatment for the patients is best evaluated by the patients themselves. The purpose of this study was to investigate quality of life (QoL) in patients with anal cancer at 3 and 6 years after treatment.

METHODS: A Swedish national cross-sectional prospective cohort study with patients diagnosed with anal cancer between 2011 and 2013. Patients were invited to respond to a QoL questionnaire at 3 and 6 years, with focus on bowel, urinary and sexual function, social and mental function, co-morbidity, lifestyle, daily activities, personal characteristics, and perceived QoL. It also contained questions on the severity of the symptoms regarding occurrence, frequency, and duration and the level of "bother" experienced related to functional symptoms. QoL and prevalence of bother with urinary, sexual, bowel dysfunction, and anal pain were described. The prevalence of impaired QoL was compared with a healthy reference population. The association between QoL and experiencing bother was quantified by regression models.

RESULTS: From an original cohort of 464 patients with anal cancer, 264 (57%) were alive and contacted at 3 years and 230 (50%) at 6 years. One hundred ninety-five (74%) patients responded to the 3-year and 152 (66%) to the 6-year questionnaire. Sixty percent reported low QoL at both 3 and 6 years. Impaired QoL was more prevalent among patients with major bother due to bowel dysfunction (at 3 years RR 1.42, 95% CI (1.06-1.9) p-value 0.020, at 6 years RR 1.52, 95% CI (1.03-2.24) p-value 0.034) and urinary dysfunction (at 6 years RR 1.44, 95% CI (1.08-1.91) p-value 0.013). There was a tendency to a positive relationship between the number of bodily functions causing bother and risk for impaired QoL.

CONCLUSION: Patients treated for anal cancer reported bother regarding several bodily functions as well as poor QoL both at 3 and 6 years without much improvement. Bother was also associated with low QoL indicating that function-related bother should be addressed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSupportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer
Volume30
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)4169-4178
Number of pages10
ISSN0941-4355
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© 2022. The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • Anal cancer, Bother of functional symptoms, Late side-effects, QoL, Survivorship

ID: 73047697