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Quality of life among long-term survivors of advanced stage ovarian cancer: A cross-sectional approach.


PURPOSE:Long-term survival of women with advanced-stage ovarian cancer is relatively rare. Little is known about quality of life (QOL) and survivorship concerns of these women. Here, we describe QOL of women with advanced-stage ovarian cancer surviving for 8.5 years or longer and compare women with 0-1 recurrence to those with multiple recurrences. METHODS:Participants (n=56) recruited from 5 academic medical centers and the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance completed surveys regarding QOL (FACT-O), mood (CESD), social support (SPS), physical activity (IPAQ-SF), diet, and clinical characteristics. Median survival was 14.0 years (range 8.8-33.3). RESULTS:QOL and psychological adjustment of long-term survivors was relatively good, with mean FACT-G scores (multiple recurrences: 80.81±13.95; 0-1 recurrence: 89.05 ±10.80) above norms for healthy community samples (80.1±18.1). Survivors with multiple recurrences reported more compromised QOL in domains of physical and emotional well-being (p <.05), and endorsed a variety of physical and emotional concerns compared to survivors with 0-1 recurrence. Difficulties in sexual functioning were common in both groups. Almost half (43%) of the survivors reported low levels of physical activity. CONCLUSIONS:Overall, women with advanced-stage ovarian cancer who have survived at least 8.5 years report good QOL and psychological adjustment. QOL of survivors with multiple recurrences is somewhat impaired compared to those with 0-1 recurrence. Limitations include a possible bias towards participation by healthier survivors, thus under-representing the level of compromise in long-term survivors. Health care practitioners should be alert to psychosocial issues faced by these long-term survivors to provide interventions that enhance QOL.

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