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Long-term adjustment of early-stage ovarian cancer survivors
  1. U. A. Matulonis*,
  2. A. Kornblith*,
  3. H. Lee,
  4. J. Bryan*,
  5. C. Gibson,
  6. C. Wells,
  7. J. Lee*,
  8. L. Sullivan and
  9. R. Penson
  1. * Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts; and
  2. Department of Hematology and Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Ursula Matulonis, MD, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Email: ursula_matulonis{at}


The objectives of this study were to describe the quality of life (QOL), consequences of treatment, complementary therapy use, and factors correlating with psychologic state in 58 survivors of early-stage ovarian cancer since little is known about the QOL of early-stage ovarian cancer survivors. Survivors were interviewed using standardized measures to assess physical, psychologic, social, and sexual functioning; impact of cancer on socioeconomic status; and complementary therapy use. Survivors reported good physical QOL scores and few unmet needs. However, menopausal symptoms and negative impact on sexuality were reported. Less than 10% of survivors reported either an interest in sex or were sexually active. Psychologic assessment yielded a subset of 26% of patients with scores suggestive of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and 40% of survivors scored below the norm on the Mental Health Inventory-17 Survey. One third of patients required treatment for family/personal problems and took antianxiety medications. About 56% of survivors reported fear of cancer recurrence and 59% reported anxiety when their CA125 is tested. Better mental health was significantly related to less fatigue (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy [FACT]—fatigue, r= 0.61, P< 0.0001), less pain (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer [EORTC], r= −0.54, P< 0.0001), fewer stressful life events (Life Event Scale, r= −0.44, P> 0.001), and greater social support (MOS Social Support Survey, r= 0.41, P< 0.01). Early-stage ovarian cancer survivors had few physical complaints and unmet needs, but psychologic distress was evident in a subset of survivors; the majority of survivors reported sexual dysfunction. These results indicate the need for intervention and improved distress screening in the early-stage ovarian cancer population.

  • cancer survivor
  • early-stage ovarian cancer

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