Background: The long-term quality of life (QOL) of postoperative rectal cancer patients has not been previously investigated in Japan and may vary depending on the surgical technique used (i.e. with or without a stoma).
Methods: The Kanagawa Cancer Registry was used to select 348 rectal cancer patients who underwent surgery at the St Marianna University Hospital between 1978 and 1997. Of these, 164 surviving patients were sent a postal survey consisting of the Japanese EuroQol instrument with an additional questionnaire on present symptoms and lifestyle.
Results and conclusions: One hundred and ten responses were received, including 38 from stoma patients. The presence of a stoma did not affect the QOL of the male patients, while it did affect that of the female patients. The QOL of the long-term survival group was associated with several items concerning lifestyle, symptoms and usual activity, and the association did not depend on the presence of a stoma. The long-term QOL could be recognized according to the characteristics of rectal cancer patients, independent of the presence of a stoma.
Copyright 2002 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd