Aim: The management of gynecological cancer patients mainly aims at prolonging survival but modern therapy focuses on good survival combined with a good quality of life (QoL). The aim of this study was to evaluate QoL and identify its associated factors in Turkish women with gynecologic cancer.
Method: The study included 119 women diagnosed with endometrial, cervical, ovarian or vulvar cancer and treated at the Gynecologic Oncology Department of Celal Bayar University Faculty of Medicine. The data were collected between January and June 2011. QoL was measured with EORTC QLQ-C30 version 3.0. Relationships between clinical and socio-demographic characteristics and QoL scores were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U, Kruskal Wallis and t-tests.
Result: Global health status, physical and role function scores were found higher in women under the age of 60 years. Role function scores were found lower, and emotional and social scores were found to be higher in single women than in married women. Physical scores were found higher in women who had graduated from secondary school or above. Women with ovarian cancer had the highest while women with cervical cancer had the lowest global health score (65.3 ±24.7 and 43.0±24.1, respectively). Women with endometrial cancer were found to have better role function, and social well being than those with vulvar, cervical or ovarian cancer. Global, physical, role function, cognitive and social scores were found higher in women who had been treated with surgery.
Conclusion: Gynecological cancer and treatment processes cause significant problems that have negative effects on physical, emotional, social and role function aspects of QoL. Health care providers play a key role in the identification and treatment of the complications of cancer therapy. Minimizing the effect of the symptoms of gynecologic cancer may positively impact on patient QoL.