Introduction: The aim of this study is to compare the exercise capacity and health-related quality of life parameters according to stages of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Materials and methods: Fifty-two patients (who are able to ambulate independently) with stage I-II (group early-stage, n= 17) and stage IIIA-IV NSCLC (group advanced-stage, n= 35) were included. Exercise capacity (six minute walking test), strength of the peripheral muscle (Back and Leg Dynamometer), performance status (Karnofsky performance status scale), health-related quality of life- HRQOL (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of life measure and Short Form-36 Health Survey), depression and anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) were evaluated.
Results: No difference was found in age, body mass index, respiratory symptoms and the distribution of disease cell types between two groups (p> 0.05). In advanced-stage group, pulmonary function test values, peripheral muscle strength, walking distance and health-related quality of life scores especially the categories of functional capacity and pain were established significantly lower compared to early-stage group (p ≤ 0.05). Depression and anxiety levels were confirmed to be similar between groups (p> 0.05).
Conclusion: The exercise capacity of patients with advanced-stage NSCLC is lower due to reduced pulmonary functions and peripheral muscle strength compared to patients with early-stage NSCLC. Therefore, we can conclude that reduced exercise capacity negatively impacts functional categories of health related quality of life of patients with advanced-stage NSCLC.