Presence of gastro-intestinal symptoms in ovarian cancer patients during survivorship: a cross-sectional study from the PROFILES registry.
van de Poll-Franse, LV
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OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between gastro-intestinal (GI) symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in ovarian cancer (OC) survivors. METHODS: Women diagnosed with OC between 2000 and 2010 as registered in the Netherlands cancer registry (n = 348), received a questionnaire on socio-demographic characteristics, HRQoL (EORTC-QLQ-C30), ovarian cancer-specific symptoms including GI (EORTC-QLQ OV28), and psychological distress (HADS). Data collection took place in 2012. RESULTS: Of 348 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, 191 (55%) responded. Of all participants, 69% were eligible for analysis (n = 131). In 25% of all women, high level GI symptoms occurred (n = 33). In 23% of all women, recurrence of OC occurred (n = 30). Regression analysis showed that presence of high levels of GI symptoms during survivorship was associated with lower functioning on all HRQoL domains (except for emotional functioning), more symptoms, and higher levels of distress. QoL was negatively affected in those who had few and high levels of GI symptoms. QoL of those with recurrent disease was worse than those without recurrent disease. CONCLUSION: A substantial proportion of OC survivors experience GI symptoms, regardless of the recurrence of disease. Health care professionals should be aware of GI symptoms during survivorship in order to refer their patients for supportive care interventions to reduce symptoms or help survivors to cope. Further research should examine the cause of GI symptoms during OC survivorship among those with non-recurrent disease.
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Clinical and Translational Sarcoma
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Support Care Cancer, 2018