Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Physical symptoms appear to predict cancer prognosis

26.07.2004


Physical symptoms that impact quality of life, such as nausea and shortness of breath, may predict shorter survival for patients with terminal cancer.



A new study published July 26, 2004 in the online edition of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, finds a patient’s symptoms and results of quality of life assessments may provide important clues to an individual patient’s prognosis. Psychosocial factors, such as anxiety or spiritual distress, did not predict shorter survival.

In order to give the most appropriate treatment options to newly diagnosed cancer patients, physicians often assess a patient’s health-related quality of life (hrQoL), along with tumor characteristics that predict the aggressiveness of the disease and, ultimately, outcome (i.e., response rate to treatments, overall survival, time to progression, and survival in years). In the field of palliative care, length of survival and quality of life are paramount. Research has demonstrated that clinical factors and tumor characteristics predict survival in terminal cancer patients, but there is limited data on the predictive value of hrQoL measures, such as physical and psychological symptoms. Existing research suggests that physical symptoms, not psychosocial symptoms, predict length of survival. However, the conclusions of these studies are weakened by methodological shortfalls.


To overcome previous study design flaws, Dr. Antonio Vigano of the McGill University Health Center and his colleagues investigated the relationship between survival and multiple hrQoL variables among 1002 patients at the beginning of or at a later stage of terminal cancer (colorectal, breast, genitourinary, or lung cancer).

The authors found that physical hrQoL factors predicted shorter survival in both groups. The relationship was strongest in the later stage of terminal cancer. Among patients at the later stage, shortness of breath increased the risk of death by 50 percent for all cancer types studied, and weakness increased the risk of death for colorectal (three-fold), breast (five-fold) and genitourinary (four-fold) cancers. Among patients at the onset of the terminal stage of cancer, the risk of death increased 68 percent with nausea/vomiting and 28 percent with shortness of breath. However, other clinical and tumor characteristics more strongly predicted outcome in this group. No predictive value was observed for psychosocial factors, such as anxiety, spiritual distress and lack of insight.

The authors conclude, "our findings indicate that patients presenting with chronic nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, and weakness are more advanced in the progress toward the terminal wasting associated with cancer than patients who do not present these symptoms" and "patients and families should be reassured that they do not feel they or their relatives are going to die sooner if they are in psychosocial distress."

David Greenberg | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wiley.com
http://www.interscience.wiley.com/cancer-newsroom

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Potential seen for tailoring treatment for acute myeloid leukemia
10.12.2018 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

nachricht UC San Diego researchers develop sensors to detect and measure cancer's ability to spread
06.12.2018 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

Im Focus: The force of the vacuum

Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.

The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Small but ver­sat­ile; key play­ers in the mar­ine ni­tro­gen cycle can util­ize cy­anate and urea

10.12.2018 | Life Sciences

New method gives microscope a boost in resolution

10.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Carnegie Mellon researchers probe hydrogen bonds using new technique

10.12.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>