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 20 January 2018

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News

Financial impact of colorectal cancer and its consequences

The most recent issue of the Diseases of the Colon & Rectum examines associations between cancer-related financial stress and strain and health-related quality of life.

News image

The financial impact and consequences of cancer on the lives of survivors remain poorly understood. 

This is especially true for colorectal cancer.

Dr Linda Sharp and colleagues investigated objective cancer-related financial stress, subjective cancer-related financial strain, and their association with health-related quality of life in colorectal cancer survivors.

The researchers performed a cross-sectional postal survey in Ireland, which has a mixed public–private healthcare system.

Colorectal cancer survivors, diagnosed 6 to 37 months prior, were identified from the population-based National Cancer Registry.

The team assessed cancer-related financial stress as impact of cancer on household ability to make ends meet and cancer-related financial strain by feelings about household financial situation since cancer diagnosis. 

41% reported cancer-related financial stress
Diseases of the Colon & Rectum
Health-related quality of life was based on European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C30 global health status. 

Logistic regression was used to identify associations between financial stress and strain and low health-related quality of life.

A total of 493 survivors participated. 

Overall, the team found that 41% reported cancer-related financial stress and 39% cancer-related financial strain.

There were 32% that reported both financial stress and financial strain. 

After adjustment for sociodemographic and clinical variables, the odds of low health-related quality of life were significantly higher in those who reported cancer-related financial stress postdiagnosis compared with those who reported no change in financial stress postcancer. 

The team noted that odds of low health-related quality of life were also significantly higher in those with worse financial strain postdiagnosis. 

The odds ratio for those with both cancer-related financial stress and financial strain was 2.6.

Dr Sharp's team commented, "Four in 10 colorectal cancer survivors reported an adverse financial impact of cancer."

"Cancer-related financial stress and strain were significantly associated with low health-related quality of life."

"To inform support strategies, additional research is needed to better understand how both objective and subjective financial distress influence survivors’ health-related quality of life."

Dis Colon Rectum 2018: 61(1): 27–35
09 January 2018

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