PURPOSE To compare long-term quality of life (QoL) of colorectal cancer survivors with QoL in the general population and investigate changes in QoL of survivors during the 10 years after diagnosis. PATIENTS AND METHODS Health-related QoL was assessed 1, 3, 5, and 10 years after diagnosis in a population-based cohort starting with 439 patients with colorectal cancer from Saarland, Germany, using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30. QoL after 5 and 10 years and time course of QoL during the 10 years after diagnosis were compared with controls from the general population of Germany, after controlling for sex and age. Results Overall, 234 and 196 patients were still alive after 5 and 10 years, respectively. Of these survivors, 178 (76%) responded in the 5-year follow-up, 133 (68%) in the 10-year follow-up, and 117 (60%) participated in all follow-ups. Over the entire follow-up, younger survivors (age at diagnosis, less than 60 years) reported restrictions in role, social, emotional, and cognitive functioning and specific problems like constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, and insomnia. Older survivors (age at diagnosis, greater than or equal 70 years) reported comparable or even better QoL than controls within the first 3 to 5 years after diagnosis and comparable to worse QoL 5 to 10 years after diagnosis. CONCLUSION Although younger survivors continuously reported detriments in various QoL dimensions during the 10-year period after diagnosis, detriments in older survivors became apparent in the long run only.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published