Impact of gynecological cancers on health-related quality of life: historical context, measurement instruments, and current knowledge

Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2023 Nov 6;33(11):1800-1806. doi: 10.1136/ijgc-2023-004804.


Gynecologic cancers, comprising 14.4% of newly diagnosed cancer cases in women globally, are substantial causes of both mortality and morbidity, with a profound impact on the quality of life (QoL) of survivors. Over the past few decades, advancements in interdisciplinary and interprofessional care have contributed to an increase in the average life expectancy of gynecological cancer patients. However, the disease and its treatments have a profound impact on patients, leading to physical changes and psychological consequences, including psychosocial and psychosexual effects, which negatively affect their QoL.The primary objective of management strategies is to minimize harm while improving survival rates and enhancing QoL during the survivorship stage. QoL measures play a crucial role in enhancing our comprehension of how cancer and its treatments affect individuals. Consequently, various measurement instruments, such as the EORTC QLQ 30, PROMIS-29, FACT-G, and QOL-CS, have been developed to assess health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Pre- and post-treatment HRQoL measurements have been shown to be predictive factors for post-operative complications and prognostic factors for overall survival and progression-free survival in gynecological oncology patients. Patient-reported outcomes related to HRQoL are essential tools for measuring patient outcomes and enabling patient-centered clinical decision-making.This article focuses on HRQoL, providing a historical context, summarizing measurement instruments, and discussing the current understanding of the impact of gynecological cancers on HRQoL.

Keywords: Gynecologic Surgical Procedures; Quality of Life (PRO)/Palliative Care; Surgical Oncology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Progression-Free Survival
  • Quality of Life* / psychology
  • Survival Rate
  • Survivors