Quality of Life for Cancer Survivors Depends on Type

Survivors more likely to have poor physical and mental health-related quality of life; varies by type

TUESDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Survivors of cancers are more likely to report poor physical and mental health-related quality of life (HRQOL), compared with adults without cancer, with considerable variation noted for different types of cancers, according to a study published online Oct. 30 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Kathryn E. Weaver, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues compared HRQOL in 1,822 adult-onset cancer survivors and 24,804 adults with no cancer history who were part of the 2010 National Health Interview Survey.

The researchers found that significantly more cancer survivors than adults with no cancer history reported poor physical HRQOL (24.5 versus 10.2 percent) and poor mental HRQOL (10.1 versus 5.9 percent). These figures represented approximately 3.3 million U.S. survivors with poor physical health and 1.4 million with poor mental health. Breast cancer, prostate cancer, and melanoma survivors had similar adjusted mean physical and mental HRQOL scores as adults without cancer. In contrast, survivors of cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, hematologic cancer, short-survival, and other cancers had worse physical HRQOL, and cervical and short-survival cancer survivors also had worse mental HRQOL.

"These data elucidate the burden of cancer diagnosis and treatment among U.S. survivors and can be used to monitor the impact of national efforts to improve survivorship care and outcomes," Weaver and colleagues write. "Interventions for high-risk groups that can be easily implemented are needed to improve survivor health at a population level."

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