Age at Diagnosis and Sex Are Associated with Long-term Deficits in Disease-Specific Health-Related Quality of Life of Survivors of Colon and Rectal Cancer: A Population-Based Study

Melissa S.Y. Thong*, Daniela Doege, Lena Koch-Gallenkamp, Heike Bertram, Andrea Eberle, Bernd Holleczek, Mechthild Waldeyer-Sauerland, Annika Waldmann, Sylke Ruth Zeissig, Hermann Brenner, Volker Arndt

*Corresponding author for this work
4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Despite the increasing number of younger individuals diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer, research on the long-term disease-specific health-related quality of life of younger (<50 years) survivors of colon and rectal cancer is scarce. OBJECTIVE: Our study aimed to compare disease-specific functional deficits and symptoms of survivors of colon and rectal cancer 5 to 16 years postdiagnosis, stratified by age at diagnosis and by sex. DESIGN: This is a cross-sectional study. SETTING: We used data from the population-based CAncEr Survivorship-A multi-Regional study in collaboration with 5 population-based German cancer registries. PATIENTS: Survivors of colon and rectal cancer were included in the study. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Respondents completed the disease-specific European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life colorectal cancer module. Age at diagnosis categories were <50, 50 to 59, 60 to 69, and ≥70 years. Least square mean health-related quality of life scores, derived from linear regression, were adjusted for sex, education, time since diagnosis, cancer site, cancer stage, and treatment, where appropriate. RESULTS: The sample comprised 697 survivors of colon cancer and 479 survivors of rectal cancer. In general, survivors of colon and rectal cancer diagnosed at <50 years of age reported lower functioning and higher symptom burden in comparison with survivors diagnosed at an older age. When stratified by sex, female survivors of colon cancer tended to report more concerns with hair loss but fewer sexual problems when compared with male survivors of colon cancer of the same age. Female survivors of rectal cancer in all age groups tended to report lower levels of sexual interest than male survivors of rectal cancer of the same age. LIMITATIONS: This was a cross-sectional study with findings that could be biased toward healthier long-term survivors. The generalizability of results is limited to survivors diagnosed before 2005. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that supportive care for survivors of colon and rectal cancer to improve their self-management of symptoms should be adapted according to cancer type, age at diagnosis, and sex.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
Volume62
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1294-1304
Number of pages11
ISSN0012-3706
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01.11.2019

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Center for Population Medicine and Public Health (ZBV)
  • Centers: University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-02 Public Health, Health Services Research and Social Medicine
  • 205-14 Haematology, Oncology
  • 205-25 General and Visceral Surgery

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