Quality of life after non-surgical treatment of anal carcinoma: a case control study of long-term survivors

Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2004 Dec;16(8):530-5. doi: 10.1016/j.clon.2004.05.007.


Aims: To evaluate the quality of life (QOL) of a cohort of patients after non-surgical treatment of anal carcinoma with chemotherapy and radiation.

Materials and methods: Patients treated for anal carcinoma at the British Columbia Cancer Agency between 1990 and 2001 were identified from audit data. A total of 92 suitable patients were found among these. They were approached by letter and encouraged to complete questionnaires regarding their QOL. The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-C30 and EORTC QLQ-CR38 instruments were used to evaluate general QOL, and more disease and site-related aspects. Fifty responses were received and were compared with those of a sample of matched local volunteer control participants who had not received any treatment to their abdomen or pelvis. Responses were scored and the results analysed with the SPSS statistical package.

Results: Significant differences were detected in global QOL and in more specific areas of both general and site/disease-specific nature. Identified general areas involved physical, social, and role functions, and symptoms of fatigue, nausea and vomiting, dyspnoea, appetite loss, diarrhoea, constipation, and financial problems, with cancer/site-related micturition, gastrointestinal and chemotherapy side-effect symptoms, and male and female sexual problems.

Conclusion: This study reveals that after curative treatment for anal carcinoma with chemoradiation that has spared the patient of surgery, issues affecting QOL can present in a significant proportion of patients.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anus Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Anus Neoplasms / pathology
  • Anus Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Carcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Carcinoma / radiotherapy*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nausea / chemically induced
  • Quality of Life*
  • Social Behavior
  • Survivors*
  • Vomiting / chemically induced