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Hepatogastroenterology. 1999 May-Jun;46(27):1998-2004.

Health-related quality of life evaluations of gastric and pancreatic cancer.

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  • 1MEDTAP International, Bethesda, Maryland 20814, USA.


This review addresses the state of the literature on health-related quality of life (HRQL) assessment among patients with cancers of the pancreas and stomach. We first briefly review the epidemiology of these cancers. We examine the concept of HRQL and the degree to which it has been measured among these patient groups. The impact of gastric and pancreatic cancers on HRQL is described, including the domains which these conditions are most likely to impact. The effect of different treatments on HRQL is considered, including surgical procedures, pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies, and procedures for symptom palliation. Based on our findings on the limited quantity and quality of the body of literature, we make suggestions for further research in the area. Results suggest three areas in which HRQL can play an important role in the study of gastric and pancreatic cancer. First, future investigations should consider both survival and HRQL in comparing surgical procedures. Second, studies of chemotherapy should include HRQL evaluation, with careful attention to conducting assessments at times appropriate to capture the effects of chemotherapy. Third, studies of the impact of palliative care should include assessments of HRQL.

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