Quality of life in patients treated for curable rectal cancer Journal Article


Authors: Savatta, S. G.; Temple, L. K. F.
Article Title: Quality of life in patients treated for curable rectal cancer
Abstract: Given the advances in oncologic outcome after treatment for rectal cancer, it is important to understand how therapy affects patients' long-term quality of life (QOL). In recent years a significant number of publications have used validated instruments to report QOL in patients treated for rectal cancer. Numerous factors are hypothesized to affect QOL after surgery for rectal cancer, including permanent stomas, the use of radiotherapy, type of rectal reconstruction, and several patient demographic factors. Although there are several limitations to these studies, current evidence indicates that a permanent stoma is not associated with as much impairment as previously hypothesized. Specifically, the data suggest that a permanent stoma is associated with greater impairment of sexual function and body image, while sphincter preservation is associated with numerous functional (defecation) problems. Radiation therapy may also contribute to a decrease in sexual QOL subscales. Bowel and sexual function appear to significantly affect quality of life. These findings are not consistent, however, as the studies have been methodologically flawed. Additionally, these studies are retrospective, sampling small heterogenous patient populations and using different QOL instruments. Further research is required to better understand factors associated with QOL, and to devise strategies for improving QOL following surgery for rectal cancer. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Keywords: treatment outcome; plastic surgery; cancer patient; cancer radiotherapy; demography; quality of life; stoma; intestine function; rectum cancer; sexual function; body image; sexual behavior; rectum surgery; sampling; rectal cancer; sphincter; defecation; instrument validation; permanent stoma
Journal Title: Seminars in Colon and Rectal Surgery
Volume: 16
Issue: 3
ISSN: 1043-1489
Publisher: Elsevier Inc.  
Date Published: 2005-09-01
Start Page: 170
End Page: 180
Language: English
DOI: 10.1053/j.scrs.2005.09.009
PROVIDER: scopus
DOI/URL:
Notes: --- - "Cited By (since 1996): 3" - "Export Date: 24 October 2012" - "CODEN: SCRSF" - "Source: Scopus"
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  1. Larissa Temple
    189 Temple