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!
Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School
Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
13.11.2018 | Life Sciences
13.11.2018 | Life Sciences
13.11.2018 | Awards Funding