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.
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Advanced soft-tissue sarcoma
Cost of Illness
Patient Reported Outcome Measures
Severity of Illness Index
Sarcoma Clinical Trials
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J Pain Symptom Manage, 53 (3), pp. 588 - 597