Quality of Life of Patients with Advanced Cervical Cancer before and after Chemoradiotherapy


Department of Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Associated Hospitals, New Delhi, India Email : dr.bachani@gmail.com


Background: Cervical cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women in India. Understanding quality of life (QOL) in women undergoing chemoradiotherapy for cervical cancer will help in introducing interventions for better care and outcomes in these women. This study assessed QOL before and after chemo radiotherapy in cervical cancer patients. Materials and Methods: This followup study covered sixtyseven newly diagnosed women with advanced cervical cancer (stages 2b to 4b). Structured questionnaires (the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, EORTC QLQC30 and EORTC QLQCX24) were used to assess the change in QOL after 6 months of treatment. Results: The mean age of women at the time of detection of cervical cancer was 52.311.29 years (Range 3075 years). Six months survival was 92.53%. The mean global health score of cervical cancer patients after six months of treatment was 59.52, which was significantly higher than the pretreatment score of 50.15 (p0.00007). Physical, cognitive and emotional functioning improved significantly (p<0.05) after treatment. Fatigue, pain, insomnia and appetite loss improved but episodes of diarrhea increased after treatment. The mean "symptoms score" using EORTC QLQCX24 post treatment was 20.0 which was significantly lower as compared to the pre treatment score 30.0 (p<0.00001). Sexual enjoyment and sexual functioning decreased significantly after treatment. Conclusions: QOL of newly diagnosed cervical cancer patients improved significantly following chemoradio therapy. Enhancement was also demonstrated on three of the five functional scales of EORTC QLQC30. To further improve QOL, interventions focusing on social and psychological support and physical rehabilitation may be needed.