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Impaired quality of life: A warning signal after oesophageal cancer surgery
Date:1/4/2012

of the normal population. However, one in six patients experienced a considerable deterioration in quality of life, which was persistently much lower than that of the normal population at five years post-surgery. Physical function, for example, had remained unchanged or improved in 86 per cent of the patients, whose score on this factor was 87 five years after surgery, compared to 88 for the normal population; the corresponding score for the 14 per cent of patients who had deteriorated over the five years was 56.

"The patients who show early signs of impaired quality of life should be identified and helped through a more intensive follow-up to avoid a persistently low quality of life," says principal investigator Pernilla Lagergren, professor of surgical care sciences at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery at Karolinska Institutet. Depending on the problems identified by the patients, targeted intervention is often possible. For example, a patient with particular nutritional problems can be referred to a dietician with specialist knowledge of this patient group.


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