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25.03.2020 | Thoracic Oncology

Wives as Key Persons Positively Impacting Prognosis for Male Patients Undergoing Esophagectomy for Esophageal Cancer: A Retrospective Study from a Single Japanese Institute

Annals of Surgical Oncology
MD, PhD Naoya Yoshida, MD Yuki Adachi, MD Takeshi Morinaga, MD, PhD Kojiro Eto, MD, PhD Ryuma Tokunaga, MD, PhD Kazuto Harada, MD, PhD Yukiharu Hiyoshi, MD, PhD Yohei Nagai, MD, PhD Masaaki Iwatsuki, MD, PhD Takatsugu Ishimoto, MD, PhD Yoshifumi Baba, MD Shiro Iwagami, MD, PhD Yuji Miyamoto, MD, PhD Yu Imamura, MD, PhD Masayuki Watanabe, MD, PhD Hideo Baba
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1245/​s10434-020-08378-w) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Identification of a key person for supporting patients with activities of daily living after esophagectomy can contribute to patients’ nutrition, rehabilitation, mental status, and determination of treatments for cancer. It may also affect the patients’ prognostic outcomes.

Patients and Methods

This retrospective study included 504 patients who underwent three-incisional esophagectomy for esophageal cancer between June 2005 and June 2018 at the Kumamoto University Hospital. The association between the type of key person identified and overall survival (OS) was investigated. The impact of the key person on postoperative nutrition and survival after recurrence was also examined.


Clinical backgrounds in patients with and without wife as their key person were equivalent. OS among male patients who identified their wife as their key person was significantly better than that in those without their wife as key person (P = 0.0035). Cox regression analysis showed that absence of a wife was an independent risk factor for worse survival outcomes (hazard ratio, 0.62; 95% confidence interval, 0.393–0.987; P = 0.044) along with age, clinical stage, severe postoperative morbidity, and pathological curability. Presence of a wife did not affect postoperative nutritional status. Incidence of death due to other causes and OS after recurrence were better in male patients with a wife than in those without; however, this difference was not significant.


Among males with esophageal cancer, their wives may be a significant contributor to extension of survival after surgery, via various support mechanisms.

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