Symptom Burden in Advanced Soft-Tissue Sarcoma.
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Context There is little information on symptom prevalence and severity in advanced soft-tissue sarcoma (STS). Understanding symptom burden will aid clinical consultations, clarify which symptom interventions are needed, and better define optimum timings of palliative and supportive care referrals.Objectives To describe symptom prevalence and severity in patients undergoing different treatment options for advanced STS: 1) first-line palliative chemotherapy (FLC), 2) active surveillance (AS) pre- and post-FLC, and 3) palliative care (PC) alone.Methods Cross-sectional survey in one sarcoma center using the patient-reported Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale-Short Form (MSAS-SF). Symptom prevalence, severity, and MSAS-SF subscales were recorded before commencing a new treatment. Our results were compared with other MSAS-SF cancer and noncancer data.Results One-hundred and thirteen patients (mean age, 59 years) were recruited. Forty-two commenced FLC, 27 started AS pre-FLC, 24 AS post-FLC, and 20 PC alone. Median overall number of reported symptoms was 11 (range 1-31): which when stratified by treatment meant AS pre-FLC < AS post-FLC < FLC < PC alone (most symptomatic). The commonest physical symptoms were pain (77%; 95% CI 68-84), lack of energy (73%; CI 63-81) difficulty sleeping (56%; CI 46-65), feeling bloated (49%; CI 39-58), and dyspnea (49%; CI 39-58). Distress levels were commensurated with prevalence except for dyspnea, which was disproportionally less distressing. Psychological distress was moderate (mean MSAS-PSYCH: 1.39) but higher than comparative cancer data.Conclusion Advanced STS patients have a clinically important symptom burden comparable to other cancers. Common symptoms should be screened and addressed appropriately, including timely PC involvement.
Severity of Illness Index
Cost of Illness
Patient Reported Outcome Measures
Sarcoma Clinical Trials
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Journal of pain and symptom management, 2017, 53 (3), pp. 588 - 597