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Prognostic Value of Knowledge of Cancer and Used Unconventional Therapy Methods on Quality of Life in Advanced, Metastatic Colorectal Cancer in Clinical Practice

Journal of Cancer Education
Krzysztof Adamowicz, Zuzanna Baczkowska-Waliszewska
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Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common malignancy in the world and the second cause of cancer-related deaths. Despite the search for new therapeutic agents, there are still many doubts concerning the quality of life (QOL) improvement in palliative patients. In this study, we assessed the impact of oncology knowledge on QOL and the relationship between QOL and various environmental factors and unconventional treatment methods in patients with CRC treated with chemotherapy and targeted therapy. The results of first-line palliative chemotherapy in 330 patients with colorectal cancer treated between January 2010 and December 2016 in two centers were analyzed. The average age of patients was 66 ± 11.7 years. Median survival time was 25 months. In multivariate analysis, the performance status and response to treatment had a significant effect on survival time. A trend towards shorter survival was also observed in patients receiving 5-FU monotherapy, in elderly patients and in patients with less oncology knowledge. A relationship between general quality of life and performance status (PS 0 vs. PS > 0), response to treatment and oncology knowledge was found. Patients with limited oncology knowledge more often used unconventional therapy methods in parallel with the treatment. In patients over 70 years of age and in patients with worse overall condition, 5-FU monotherapy was more commonly used (p < 0.01). The level of oncology knowledge of the treated patients observed in everyday clinical practice may be related to some parameters of treatment effectiveness assessment, such as QOL and may be related to the use of unconventional treatment methods. Those, in turn may have an impact on the QOL of the treated patients.

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