In addition, patients with certain symptom clusters have an increased risk of dying from their disease. The findings are published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.
Esophageal cancer is an aggressive cancer with a very poor prognosis, and surgery to remove the esophagus offers the only chance of a cure. Only about a quarter of patients who are diagnosed receive surgery—in the rest, the tumor is too advanced to remove or the patient is not fit for such extensive surgery.
In patients who do undergo surgery, only 30 percent are alive five years after the surgery. The surgery is very extensive, and patients experience severe post-operative symptoms and limitations that affect their quality of life and daily living. Common symptoms include eating and swallowing problems, reflux, pain, and fatigue.
Research of symptoms in other cancers suggests that symptoms experienced by patients may present in specific groupings or clusters, and that these clusters may have an important impact on patient outcomes. In the current study of 402 patients who underwent surgery for esophageal cancer, Anna Wikman, PhD, of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, and her colleagues found that symptoms reported by patients six months after surgery clustered together in three groups: one symptom cluster included symptoms related to fatigue and pain, another cluster included symptoms related to reflux and cough, and a third cluster included symptoms related to eating difficulties.
The patients who experienced the reflux/cough symptom cluster and the eating difficulties cluster were more likely to die within five years than patients who did not experience these symptom clusters.
"As this is the first study of symptom clusters in surgically treated esophageal cancer patients, further work is needed to confirm the existence of these symptom clusters in this patient population; however, the present findings do suggest that post-operative symptoms should not be considered in isolation but that clusters of symptoms must be considered," said Dr. Wikman.
"It seems that patients who experience clustering of certain symptoms also have an increased mortality risk over and above the effect of other known prognostic factors. These findings suggest that it may be important to address these symptom clusters in the clinical setting in order to potentially reduce the increased mortality risk associated with them."
Amy Molnar | EurekAlert!
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy