Surgical complications exert a lasting effect on disease-specific health-related quality of life for patients with colorectal cancer

Thomas Anthony, Joshua Long, Linda S. Hynan, George A. Sarosi, Fiemu Nwariaku, James Huth, Charlene Jones, Betty J N Parker, Robert Rege

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Background. For individual patients with colorectal cancer, health-related quality of life (HRQL) after treatment is a function of several factors that include preexisting medical conditions, the disease burden, and the treatment that is rendered. The purpose of this study was to identify the factors that were associated with posttreatment HRQL. Methods. At baseline and again at 12 months after diagnosis, patients completed the colorectal cancer-specific HRQL survey: Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT-C). Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to test the association between patient-, tumor-, and treatment-related variables and 12-month FACT-C total scores. Results. Seventy-one patients completed the FACT-C at diagnosis and subsequently underwent open surgical removal of their primary tumor; 63 patients completed the 12-month survey. In univariate analysis, only chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at diagnosis or the occurrences of perioperative complications were associated with a reduction in 12-month HRQL scores. Considering both the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the occurrence of perioperative complications, along with the patient's FACT-C total score at diagnosis, age, tumor location, and stage of disease in a multivariate model, only the perioperative complications (odds ratio, 10.5; 95% CI, 2.1-52) and FACT-C total score at diagnosis (odds ratio, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.005-1.07) were associated significantly with a lower than median HRQL score at 12 months. Conclusion. For patients who undergo treatment of colorectal cancer, HRQL at 1 year after diagnosis is still influenced significantly and negatively by the occurrence of surgical complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-125
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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