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Surviving colorectal cancer †
Patient-Reported Symptoms 4 Years After Diagnosis
Article first published online: 11 SEP 2007
Copyright © 2007 American Cancer Society
Volume 110, Issue 9, pages 2075–2082, 1 November 2007
How to Cite
Schneider, E. C., Malin, J. L., Kahn, K. L., Ko, C. Y., Adams, J. and Epstein, A. M. (2007), Surviving colorectal cancer . Cancer, 110: 2075–2082. doi: 10.1002/cncr.23021
The authors have received honoraria for presenting research results at conferences sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American College of Surgeons (ACoS). The assertions and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the authors and are not necessarily those of ASCO or its representatives.
- Issue published online: 18 OCT 2007
- Article first published online: 11 SEP 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 JUN 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 30 MAY 2007
- Manuscript Received: 6 APR 2007
- American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation (to J.L.M.)
- colorectal cancer;
- cancer survivorship;
- quality of life;
- side effects of treatment
The number of long-term survivors after a cancer diagnosis is increasing, yet relatively few studies have addressed survivors' reported symptoms beyond the initial year after diagnosis.
The symptom reports of 474 survivors of colon and rectal cancer from 5 US metropolitan areas were collected during 2002-2003 as part a larger study of the quality of care for patients with cancer diagnosed in 1998. The relation between the prevalence of reported symptoms and prior treatments received was analyzed, adjusting statistically for other patient characteristics.
Sixty-nine percent of the survivors had colon cancer and 31% had rectal cancer. The most commonly reported symptoms were “fatigue” (23%), “negative feelings about body appearance” (14%), “diarrhea” (13%), and “constipation” (7%). Higher percentages of respondents attributed health effects to cancer or its treatment including “worry about health” (24%), “physical discomfort” (19%), and “activity limitations” (15%). In general, prior treatment was not associated with symptom prevalence. However, radiation therapy recipients and patients that received a diverting ostomy were more likely than others to report some of the symptoms we studied. Attribution of health effects to disease or treatment did not vary by prior treatment except that recipients of radiation therapy were more likely than others to report limitations in their activities (30% vs 10%; P = .003).
Among colorectal cancer survivors the prevalence of symptoms at 4 years was low and relatively comparable to published estimates for the general population, but some survivors continue to attribute health effects to cancer or its treatment. Cancer 2007. © 2007 American Cancer Society.