Health-related quality of life and survival in the 2 years after surgery for gastric cancer

Eur J Surg Oncol. 2010 Feb;36(2):148-54. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2009.09.008.


Background: This prospective study examined health-related quality of life (HRQL) and survival in patients with potentially curable gastric cancer.

Methods: Consecutive patients (n=58) selected for curative surgery completed a validated questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) and site-specific module (QLQ-STO22) before surgery and regularly for 2 years afterwards. Changes of 10 or more points on a 0-100 scale were considered clinically significant.

Results: Some 30 patients were alive after 2 years (52%). In the first 3 months after surgery, HRQL was significantly reduced across all dimensions except emotional and cognitive functioning (mean reduction of 10 or more points). Functional aspects of HRQL recovered by 6 months in patients who subsequently were alive at 2 years, although at least a third of patients experienced specific symptoms, even 6 months after surgery, especially diarrhoea. For those dying within 2 years, some postoperative functional HRQL recovery occurred, but many symptoms were common.

Conclusions: Potentially curative gastrectomy for cancer has a detrimental impact on HRQL that mostly recovers in patients surviving some 2 years. Patients who die within 2 years may experience limited postoperative recovery. It is recommended that patients receive HRQL information about the outcomes of surgery for gastric cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / mortality
  • Stomach Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survival Rate