Quality of Life and Sexual Problems in Disease-Free Survivors of Cervical Cancer Compared With the General Population
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- Cho, Chi Heum
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- Keywords: quality of life; Sexual problems; cervical cancer; disease-free survivors
BCKGROUND : The purpose of this study was to identify problems related to long-term quality of life (QOL) and sexual function in cervical cancer survivors.
METHODS : The authors enrolled 860 women (median time since diagnosis, 5.86 years) with a history of cervical cancer (stage I to IVa) who had been treated at any of 6 hospitals from 1983 through 2004 and 494 control subjects selected randomly from a representative sample of Korean women. Subjects filled out a questionnaire that included the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-C30, its Cervical Cancer Module, and additional sexual function items.
RESULTS : Cervical cancer survivors had clinically significant worse problems with social functioning, constipation, diarrhea, and difficulties with their finances than controls (P < .01). Survivors also reported more severe lymphedema and menopausal symptoms and worse body image, sexual and/or vaginal functioning, and sexual worry (P < .01). Anxiety about sexual performance was more problematic in survivors than in controls (P < .01), as was dyspareunia for women who received radiotherapy (P < .01).
CONCLUSIONS : These findings can increase the awareness of healthcare providers to the potential need for counseling and other interventions among women who have been successfully treated for cervical cancer and could help them improve their impaired QOL. Cancer 2007. © 2007 American Cancer Society.
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