Ovarian cancer survivors' acceptance of treatment side effects evolves as goals of care change over the cancer continuum.
Gynecol Oncol. 2017 Aug;146(2):386-391
Authors: Frey MK, Ellis AE, Koontz LM, Shyne S, Klingenberg B, Fields JC, Chern JY, Blank SV
OBJECTIVES: Women with ovarian cancer can have long overall survival and goals of treatment change over time from cure to remission to stable disease. We sought to determine whether survivors' acceptance of treatment side effects also changes over the disease continuum.
METHODS: Women with ovarian cancer completed an online survey focusing on survivors' goals and priorities. The survey was distributed through survivor networks and social media.
RESULTS: Four hundred and thirty-four women visited the survey website and 328 (76%) completed the survey. Among participants, 141 (43%) identified themselves as having ever recurred, 119 (36%) were undergoing treatment at the time of survey completion and 86 (26%) had received four or more chemotherapy regimens. Respondents' goals of care were cure for 115 women (35%), remission for 156 (48%) and stable disease for 56 (17%). When asked what was most meaningful, 148 women (45%) reported overall survival, 135 (41%) reported quality of life and 40 (12%) reported progression-free survival. >50% of survivors were willing to tolerate the following symptoms for the goal of cure: fatigue (283, 86%), alopecia (281, 86%), diarrhea (232, 71%), constipation (227, 69%), neuropathy (218, 66%), arthralgia (210, 64%), sexual side effects (201, 61%), reflux symptoms (188, 57%), memory loss (180, 55%), nausea/vomiting (180, 55%), hospitalization for treatment side effects (179, 55%) and pain (169, 52%). The rates of tolerance for most symptoms decreased significantly as the goal of treatment changed from cure to remission to stable disease.
CONCLUSIONS: Women with ovarian cancer willingly accept many treatment side effects when the goal of treatment is cure, however become less accepting when the goal is remission and even less so when the goal is stable disease. Physicians and survivors must carefully consider treatment toxicities and quality of life effects when selecting drugs for patients with incurable disease.
PMID: 28602549 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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