Impact of chemotherapy on health status and symptom burden of colon cancer survivors: A population-based study
Background: This population-based study assessed the impact of chemotherapy on general and disease-specific health status of resected colon cancer survivors up to 10 years post-diagnosis. Patients and methods: Colon cancer survivors diagnosed between 1998 and 2007 were selected from the Eindhoven Cancer Registry. Survivors completed the SF-36 and the EORTC colorectal module (EORTC-QLQ-CR38). Comparisons to a normative population were conducted. Multiple linear regression analyses investigated the association between treatment and health status. Results: Eight hundred and forty eight survivors were evaluated: 29% had chemotherapy (CT); 71% without chemotherapy (nCT). Survivors had similar SF-36 scores and scored better than the normative population on several domains. On the EORTC-QLQ-CR38, male nCT survivors had more sexual problems than CT survivors (p = 0.01). Among the sexually active respondents, the survivors reported sex to be less enjoyable than the normative population (p = 0.02). In multivariate analyses, CT predicted better physical function, and less male sexual dysfunction and weight loss problems than nCT. Conclusions: Overall, CT survivors have general health status scores comparable to nCT survivors and the normative population up to 10 years since initial diagnosis. Sex-related problems among survivors suggest more attention on this often sensitive issue is required in clinical management.