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Acta Oncol. 2012 Nov;51(8):1029-35. doi: 10.3109/0284186X.2012.689112. Epub 2012 Jun 4.

Quality of life six months after lung cancer surgery is associated with long-term survival.

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Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.



The aim of this study was to analyze the association between quality of life six months following lung cancer surgery and survival.


In a prospective population-based cohort study, quality of life was estimated by the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form (SF-36) questionnaire before and six months after surgery for lung cancer. Cox regression models adjusting for potential confounding factors were used to analyze the association between SF-36 scores six months after surgery and survival. We also estimated the risk of death in patients scoring below the normal population mean at six months after surgery.


We included 249 patients, and 79 patients were excluded because of histopathology other than primary lung cancer. After six months, 11 patients had died, and 18 patients did not respond to the second SF-36 questionnaire, leaving a study population of 141 patients with SF-36 data from both baseline and follow-up. During a median follow-up of 4.0 years, 35 deaths occurred. The SF-36 physical and mental component summary scores assessed at six months after lung cancer surgery were significantly associated with survival. Mental component summary scores below the mean of the age- and gender-matched normal population were associated with a three-fold increase in the risk of death.


Quality of life scores six months after surgery contained prognostic information regarding long-term survival that was independent of baseline scores. If these findings can be validated, cross-sectional post-treatment measurements of quality of life can prove valuable, especially when baseline information is unavailable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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