The primary objectives of surgery for colorectal cancer are to achieve radical resection of the tumor and to ensure a satisfactory quality of life for the patient.
But the question remains what the satisfactory quality of life for the patients is, and what the patients desire.
Dr Holzer and colleagues conducted an exploratory investigation to evaluate patient pre-operative expectations as objectively as possible.
The research team also aimed to analyze results in relation to age, gender and socio-economic status.
The team sent out a questionnaire consisting of 15 questions prior to surgery to 167 patients in the period from 1998 to 2001.
The questionnaire included various aspects that were thought to influence the patient's quality of life.
Moreover, the patients were given the opportunity to rate the questions they considered most important.
The researchers found 5 points that were considered most important by the total group of patients.
|81% rated stoma avoidance as one of the most important outcomes|
The team noted that complete cure of the disease was rated most important, and was the prime expectation of 95% of patients.
This was followed by the avoidance of a stoma by 81%, a reliable control of defecation by 52%, normal digestion by 44%, and little pain in 26%.
Dr Holzer's team concluded, “Age, gender and education influence the pre-operative expectations of patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer.”
“In addition to the surgical standard, the care of the individual patient must be given due consideration in the treatment strategy.”