Quality of life and persisting symptoms after oesophageal cancer surgery

Eur J Cancer. 2006 Jul;42(10):1407-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2006.02.005. Epub 2006 Jun 5.


To assess quality of life (QoL) and symptoms after oesophageal cancer surgery, a prospective nationwide population-based study was conducted in 2001-2005, including most surgically treated oesophageal cancer patients in Sweden. Six months postoperatively patients responded to an EORTC quality of life core questionnaire (QLQ C-30) with an oesophageal-specific module (OES-18). Mean scores were calculated. Mann-Whitney test was used for group comparisons. Among 282 patients, QoL was considerably reduced compared to a reference general population (P<0.001), and functioning scales were similarly negatively affected; particularly role (P<0.001) and social (P<0.001) functions. Younger patients scored worse than older. No gender differences were found. Dominating general symptoms included fatigue, appetite loss, diarrhoea, and dyspnoea, each significantly more pronounced than the general population (P<0.001). Eating problems, cough, reflux, and oesophageal pain were common oesophageal-specific symptoms. Thus, patients who undergo oesophageal cancer resection suffer greatly from reduced QoL and several general and oesophageal-specific symptoms six months postoperatively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardia*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Care
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Stomach Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Sweden