Home Neoplasma 2016 Neoplasma Vol.63, No.4, p.635-641,2016

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Founded: 1954
ISSN 0028-2685
ISSN 1338-4317 (online)

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Neoplasma Vol.63, No.4, p.635-641,2016

Title: Indication of pre-surgical radiochemotherapy enhances psychosocial morbidity among patients with resectable locally advanced rectal cancer

Abstract: Patients with cancer experience stress-determined psychosocial comorbidities and behavioural alterations. Patients expectation to be cured by the first line surgery and their emotional status can be negatively influenced by the decision to include neoadjuvant long-course radiotherapy prior to surgical intervention. From the patient’s perspective such treatment algorithmindicates incurability of the disease. The aim of this study was to analyse the extent and dynamics of stress and related psychosocial disturbances among patients with resectable rectal cancer to whom the neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy before surgery has been indicated.Three standardised assessment tools evaluating psychosocial morbidity of rectal cancer patients have been implemented: The EORTC QLQ C30-3, the EORTC QLQ CR29 module and the HADS questionnaires previously tested for internal consistency were answered by patients before and after long-course radiotherapy and after surgery and the scores of clinical and psychosocial values were evaluated by means of the EORTC and HADS manuals.
The most profound psychosocial distress was experienced by patients after the decision to apply neoadjuvant radiotherapy and concomitant chemotherapy before surgical intervention. The involvement of pre-surgical radiotherapy into the treatment algorithm increased emotional disturbances (anxiety, feelings of hopelessness) and negatively influenced patient’s treatment adherence and positive expectations from the healing process. The negative psychosocial consequences appeared to be more enhanced in female patients. Despite provided information about advances of neoadjuvant radiotherapy onto success of surgical intervention, the emotional and cognitive disorders improved only slightly. The results clearly indicate that addressed communication and targeted psychosocial support has to find place before pre-surgical radiochemotherapy and as a standard part through the trajectory of the entire multimodal rectal cancer treatment.

Keywords: rectal cancer, pre-surgical treatment, psychosocial morbidity
Published online: 14-Jul-2016
Year: 2016, Volume: 63, Issue: 4 Page From: 635, Page To: 641

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