In a nutshell
This study compared abdominal (stomach/intestinal) symptoms (AS) between patients with colorectal cancer after colon surgery and after rectal surgery. Researchers suggested that complaints between both groups of patients are similar.
Colorectal cancer survivors often have long-term side effects from the cancer and its treatments (60 to 90%). These symptoms can be AS, depression, tiredness that may last for several years. Patients who have surgery for rectal cancer experience more often a side effect called low anterior resection syndrome (LARS). This involves AS such as abdominal pain, gas, losing control of bowel movements or urgency of stools. This can affect the quality of life of these patients such as physical and social functioning.
However, the occurrence and frequency of LARS after colon surgery have not been investigated.
Methods & findings
This study included information about 1495 patients with colorectal cancer who underwent surgery. Of these, 1145 had a colon cancer and 350 a rectal cancer. 55% of the patients in the rectal surgery group and 21% in the colon surgery group had LARS.
Female patients were 1.88 times more at risk of having LARS after colon surgery. Patients with a diverting stoma (an opening in the intestine that is brought out onto the surface of the belly) were 1.84 times more at risk of having LARS after surgery.
Patients with LARS after colon surgery had significantly worse quality of life.
The bottom line
This study concluded that patients who receive surgery for colon cancer report the same poor quality of life associated with LARS as patients treated for rectal cancer.
The fine print
The groups of patients were not equal. This might limit the findings of this study. Further studies are needed for methods to improve the quality of life of these patients.
Published By :
Aug 10, 2019
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