Quality of life in gastric cancer prior to gastrectomy

Qual Life Res. 1996 Apr;5(2):255-64. doi: 10.1007/BF00434747.


A growing number of surgical trials include quality of life variables in the overall assessment of outcomes. This is believed to broaden the criteria for choice of treatment and the evaluation of treatment regimens. The present study is a baseline evaluation of the health-related quality of life in patients with gastric cancer facing surgery. The quality of life in these patients was related to that of other patient groups referred for surgical interventions and general population groups. Our study included 103 consecutive patients with carcinoma of the stomach considered amenable to a curative major surgical procedure. The quality of life evaluation was based on a battery of questionnaires, covering general body symptoms, mood level and functional limitations. Patients with gastric cancer reported more neurasthenic complaints such as reduced sexual interest, insomnia and poor appetite as well as a lower mood level than the general population. The gastric cancer group also showed a markedly lower mood level in comparison with a group of cancer survivors 2-3 years after diagnosis and patients with intermittent claudication. The mental well-being of gastric cancer patients matched that of cancer survivors with one or more recurrences. Overall, 25% of the gastric cancer patients reported functional limitations regarded as clinically significant. Patients with intermittent claudication reported more and patients with small cell lung cancer markedly more limitations. We conclude that although patients with gastric cancer showed a low level of limitations on average, problems in the areas of sleep/rest, home management and, especially, eating were frequently reported.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma / complications
  • Carcinoma / psychology
  • Carcinoma / surgery*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Gastrectomy / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reference Values
  • Stomach Neoplasms / complications
  • Stomach Neoplasms / psychology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Sweden