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Anal Cancer Patients Frequent Constipation And Diarrhea New Study Finds

According to a new German study, anal cancer patients frequently experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation and diarrhea, which can lead to pain. Although their functional scores are lower than the general population, this does not appear to have a negative impact on their quality of life (QoL).

Anal Cancer Patients Frequent Constipation And Diarrhea New Study Finds
Image: A Woman Having Constipation | InStyleHealth

In the study, 52 patients (median age 64.5 years, 38 women) took part. For anal cancer, they'd all had decisive chemoradiation. The EORTC QLQC30 was utilized to assess cancer-specific QoL, and the newly created QLQ-ANL27 instrument was also employed to assess anal cancer-specific QoL.

Anal cancer patients had significantly lower role (mean, 70.5 vs 82.7 points; p=0.000), emotional (mean, 70.5 vs 77.1 points; p=0.000), and social (mean, 83.0 vs 89.8 points; p=0.009) functioning than the German reference population. Patients, on the other hand, had considerably improved cognitive functioning (95.8 vs. 88.6 points; p=0.041) and general health (77.6 vs. 63.4 points; p=0.000).


Radiation-induced constipation (p=0.002) and diarrhea (p=0.000) were both significantly worse in patients with anal malignancy. There was no other symptom that had the same effect.

Patients who had tumor relapse had significantly poorer symptom scores than those who had complete clinical remission in terms of site-specific QoL. Furthermore, treatment with intensity-modulated radiation appeared to improve non-stoma bowel function and female sexual function, as well as reduce pain and concerns about toilet proximity and cleanliness.

"The majority of functional scores of anal cancer patients were lower than those of the general German population, although this did not appear to have an impact on overall QoL." The largest influences on global quality of life were fatigue, physical complaints, and role behaviors, indicating that psychological problems were just as relevant as physical symptoms, according to the researchers.

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