Disease-free ovarian cancer patients report severe pain and fatigue over time: Prospective quality of life assessment in a consecutive series

S. Shinde, T. Wanger, P. Novotny, M. Grudem, Aminah Jatoi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Among ovarian cancer patients, cancer treatment is aggressive and yet survival is often so limited; hence, this study sought to measure quality of life with the ultimate goal of identifying ways of improving it over the duration of these patients' lives. Materials and Methods: The medical records of all ovarian cancer patients who received some/all of their initial chemotherapy at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota from late 2010 through 2012 were reviewed. Patient-reported quality of life was derived from the following ten-point linear analogue scale questions which had been administered to all patients: 1) How would you describe your degree of pain, on average? 2) How would you describe your level of fatigue, on average? 3) How would you describe your overall quality of life? Quality of life data were censored upon cancer recurrence. Results: Among 59 eligible patients, the median cumulative interval during which quality of life was serially assessed was 1.15 years (range: Three months, 3.2 years). Area under the curve for pain, fatigue, and global quality of life showed no statistically significant differences between patients treated with dose-dense chemotherapy with carboplatin/paclitaxel (n=10) versus three-week chemotherapy with carboplatin/paclitaxel (n=36) versus other (n=13). Although pain, fatigue, and global quality of life improved over time, 35 of 59 (59%) patients reported grade 4 or worse pain during follow up, and 47 of 59 (80%) reported grade 4 or worse fatigue (higher scores denote worse pain or fatigue). After completion of cancer treatment, 30 (51%) described grade 4 or worse pain or fatigue. The most common pain site was the abdomen/pelvis, followed by the back, followed by the hands, feet, fingers, and toes. Conclusion: In ovarian cancer patients who remain cancer-free, severe pain and fatigue occur years after cancer treatment. Further research should focus on how best to address these symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-160
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Gynaecological Oncology
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Fatigue
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pain
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Oncology

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