Colon and rectal cancer patients 75 years old and older who are treated with chemotherapy or radiation don’t report any poorer quality of life than older patients who don’t have such therapy. Patients who had chemotherapy said that their physical functioning was better than that reported by those who didn’t receive chemo.
French patients who were at least 75 responded to questionnaires about their quality of life and emotional health three, six, and twelve months after their diagnoses. Overall health and emotional functioning improved between the first questionnaire at three months and the twelve month survey for people with colon cancer. For rectal cancer patients, scores improved between six months and twelve months.
Anne-Marie Bouvier, MD, PhD and her team at the Burgundy Digestive Cancer Registry wrote,
To the authors’ knowledge, the current study is the first to examine trends over time with regard to the influence of adjuvant treatments for colon and rectal cancers on quality of life (QoL) in a general aged population. Providing evidence that adjuvant chemotherapy for colon cancer has no negative impact on the QoL of elderly patients is of great significance in encouraging clinicians to treat this population.
SOURCE: Bouvier et al.,Cancer, Volume 113, Number 4, August 15, 2008.