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Keywords:

  • quality of life;
  • non-Hodgkin lymphoma;
  • post-traumatic stress;
  • Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General;
  • Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Lymphoma;
  • Medical Outcomes Study Short Form;
  • Impact of Cancer

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A growing body of evidence suggests that long-term survivors with 1 of the more common forms of adult cancer report a quality of life (QOL) similar to that in the general population. However, specific concerns have been identified (sexual dysfunction, fatigue, distress) in this population. Also, less is known concerning survivors of adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a disease often marked by alternating periods of disease and remission. Therefore, in the current study, the authors compared the QOL status of individuals who reported having active NHL with the QOL status of individuals who were disease-free short-term survivors (STS) (2-4 years postdiagnosis) and long-term survivors (LTS) (≥5 years postdiagnosis).

METHODS:

Eligible survivors completed a mailed survey with validated measures, including physical and mental health status measured with the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short Form, cancer-related QOL, the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Lymphoma module, and self-reported impact of cancer. Other data were collected to examine as correlates.

RESULTS:

Seven hundred sixty-one survivors identified from 2 North Carolina cancer registries participated. The average survivor was 10.4 years postdiagnosis (range, 2-44 years postdiagnosis) and was age 62.7 years (range, 25-92 years). Survivors with active disease (n = 109) demonstrated worse physical and mental health functioning, worse QOL, and less positive and more negative impacts of cancer compared with disease-free survivors (n = 652; all P ≤ .01). No significant differences were observed between STS and LTS.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although survivors with NHL who had active disease reported more negative outcomes compared with off-treatment survivors, the length of time after diagnosis did not appear to matter with regard to outcomes for STS or LTS. In addition, mixed results from comparisons with general population norms suggested the need for supportive care for this diverse survivorship group. Cancer 2009. © 2009 American Cancer Society.