Disease stage is a strong predictor of cancer survival and is therefore assumed to influence psychosocial outcomes.
However, existing findings are inconsistent, perhaps reflecting limited sample sizes, especially among patients with advanced disease.
There has also been an emphasis on breast cancer, resulting in a focus on outcomes among women.
Dr Simon and colleagues from the United Kingdom investigated associations between disease stage and psychosocial wellbeing in 128 patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
The team invited patients diagnosed within the past year in a single hospital to participate in a questionnaire study.
|Women with advanced disease had more severe colorectal symptoms|
The patients gave permission for staging information to be obtained from their medical records.
The questionnaire included measures of anxiety, depression, quality of life, social support, social difficulties and quality of medical interactions.
Patients with more advanced disease were more anxious and depressed, perceived their social support as lower, and had a worse quality of life.
Women with advanced disease had more severe colorectal symptoms, and worse physical and emotional quality of life than men.
Dr Simon’s team concluded, “Patients with advanced colorectal cancer have unmet psychosocial needs.”
“Women may be more strongly affected by advanced disease than men.”