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A Prospective Study in the Evaluation of Quality of Life After Vulvar Cancer Surgery
  1. Marta Novackova, MD, PhD*,
  2. Michael J. Halaska, MD, PhD*,
  3. Helena Robova, MD, PhD*,
  4. Ivana Mala, PhD,
  5. Marek Pluta, MD, PhD*,
  6. Roman Chmel, MD, PhD* and
  7. Lukas Rob, MD, PhD*
  1. *Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2nd Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University in Prague and Faculty Hospital Motol; and
  2. Faculty of Informatics and Statistics, University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Marta Novackova, MD, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2nd Medical Faculty, Charles University in Prague, V Uvalu 84, 150 00, Praha 5, Czech Republic. E-mail: marta.novackova{at}


Objective The aim of this study was to prospectively monitor the patients’ quality of life (QoL) after vulvar cancer surgery.

Design The design was prospective clinical study.

Setting The study was set in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2nd Medical Faculty of the Charles University and University Hospital Motol, Prague, Czech Republic.

Methods A group of 36 patients underwent vulvar cancer surgery: 24 patients were subject to inguinofemoral lymphadenectomy (RAD) and 12 to sentinel lymph node biopsy. To evaluate QoL, the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, QoL questionnaires (QLQ-C30 and QLQ-CX24) were administered to patients before and 6 and 12 months after surgery.

Results In patients with vulvar cancer after inguinofemoral lymphadenectomy, increased fatigue and impaired lymphedema were observed. In the group of patients after sentinel lymph node biopsy, none of the QoL variables worsened postoperatively. Comparing both groups 12 months after surgery, the RAD group had significantly worse outcomes in body image and cognitive functioning than the sentinel lymph node biopsy group.

Patients in the RAD group, who received adjuvant radiotherapy (n = 13), had worse QoL in symptom experience (P < 0.05) at 6 and 12 months after the surgery than patients without radiotherapy (n = 11).

Conclusions Less radical surgery showed objectively better QoL results.

  • Vulvar cancer
  • Quality of life
  • Questionnaire EORTC
  • QLQ-C30
  • QLQ-CX24

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  • Supported by a grant from the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic (IGA MZ NT 13167-4).

  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.