Barcelona, Spain: In a surprising finding, American scientists have found that when battling oesophageal cancer, married patients dont fare as well as their single counterparts in certain aspects of their quality of life.
In the study, presented today (Wednesday) at the European Cancer Conference (ECCO 14) in Barcelona, 212 oesophageal cancer patients and 489 patients with Barretts oesophagus, a non-cancerous condition linked to acid reflux, filled out two quality of life questionnaires a year apart. Changes in the scores between the two assessments were analysed according to marital status.
No differences in quality of life changes over time were seen between marital states in the patients with Barretts oesophagus. That finding was expected because the condition is not a potentially fatal one requiring stressful major treatment.
In general, there were not major differences in quality of life between single and married oesophageal cancer patients, but there were slight differences in some aspects, said the studys lead researcher, Dr. Robert Miller, an assistant professor of oncology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
For the single patients, quality of life scores relating to pain frequency, overall physical wellbeing and legal worries improved between the first and second questionnaire. However, married patients reported less improvement in their legal worries than the single patients did, and worsening physical wellbeing and increasing pain frequency over time.
In the second questionnaire, single people rated their overall physical quality of life at a score 0.7 points higher on a scale of one to 10 than they did on the first questionnaire. However, for married people, the score dropped 0.4 points, Miller said.
The results for pain frequency were similar, with the singles improving by 0.6 points and the married patients reporting a 0.9-point deterioration.
When it came to perceptions o
|Contact: Emma Ross|
ECCO-the European CanCer Conference