Esophageal Cancer Surgery Has Lasting Effects on QoL

Major postoperative complications predictive of parameters of poor health-related quality of life

THURSDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term survivors of esophageal cancer surgery who experience postoperative complications continue to experience long-lasting adverse effects on their health-related quality of life (HRQL), according to a study published online April 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

To assess the impact of postoperative complications on HRQL, Maryam Derogar, of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues utilized data from the Swedish Esophageal and Cardia Cancer register to identify 153 patients who had survived for at least five years following esophageal cancer surgery. HRQL was assessed using validated questionnaires.

The researchers found that 141 patients completed the five-year HRQL survey. Of these, 33 percent sustained a major postoperative complication, which was associated with significantly worse scores for dyspnea, fatigue, and eating restrictions compared with those who did not sustain a major postoperative complication. Sleep difficulties and gastroesophageal reflux worsened during follow-up, while the number of patients with a postoperative complication who had problems with choking decreased.

"In this population-based prospective study of five-year survivors of esophageal cancer surgery, the occurrence of major postoperative complications was found to be an independent predictor for several parameters of poor HRQL," the authors write.

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