Symptoms and Quality of Life in Colorectal Cancer Patients during Chemotherapy – a Prospective Study


Patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) might face a range of challenges during their cancer treatment, both before and during their chemotherapy treatment. Symptom control early in the treatment phase might help to prevent, treat and assure a good follow-up in these patients. Despite the high incidence of CRC, longitudinal studies in CRC patients undergoing chemotherapy are extremely limited.

The aims (Paper I) were to investigate the overall symptom burden of patients with CRC prior to the initiation of chemotherapy, and to evaluate for differences in symptom occurrence, severity, and distress between patients with CRC who were scheduled to receive curative or palliative chemotherapy.

The aims (Paper II) were to assess the occurrence, severity and distress of frequently occurring symptoms (worrying, lack of energy, numbness/tingling, nausea, and pain) at multiple time points during chemotherapy. Secondly, to investigate the differences in symptom trajectories between chemotherapy groups, and lastly to determine whether selected patient and clinical characteristics are associated with symptom severity throughout the treatment trajectory.

Aim (Paper III) were to prospectively assess for changes in physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) quality of life (QOL) using SF-12 over 6 months of chemotherapy course in CRC patients. Secondly, to investigate which factors and selected physical and mental symptoms are associated with PCS and MCS scores over 6 months chemotherapy course.

The multidimensional self-reported questionnaire Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale (MSAS) was used to measure the symptoms, SF-12 to measure QOL, and Karfnofsky performance status (KPS) and Self-Administered Comorbidity questionnaire (SCQ-19) to assess performance status and comorbidities, respectively.




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  • Start: januar 2009