Colorectal Cancer

Project Name:

Long-term Physical and Psychological Outcomes in Colorectal Cancer Survivors

About the Project:

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the fourth most common type of cancer for both men and women in Canada. Its treatment appears to cause lasting side effects and symptom problems that endure for years, such as bowel dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, fatigue, emotional distress, and low levels of quality of life (QOL). However, our knowledge is limited by inadequate assessment of outcomes. No information exists on the extent to which CRC patients have difficulty managing their symptoms. It is also unclear to what extent problems reported by long-term survivors of CRC are related to cancer, other comorbid health conditions, and/or aging. Given the increasing number of CRC survivors, there is a pressing need to provide patients with accurate information about long-term outcomes. We recruited 500 long-term survivors of CRC using the Ontario Familial Colorectal Cancer Registry (OFCCR) and comapred them on several variables (e.g., quality of life, emotional affect, symptom management, etc) to population-based controls.

Purpose of the Study:

There were two main objectives of this study:

1) To describe physical and psychological symptom severity and QOL and to examine symptom management problems as a mediator of that relationship among long-term CRC survivors (>10 years post-diagnosis, In addition, this research project will also examine the moderating effect of age, gender, and education on these relationships.

2) To examine the degree to which the presence or absence of cancer history (i.e., CRC survivors compared to age-and gender-matched controls) is associated with QOL, symptom severity, and symptom management problems

These findings were published in:

Hart, T. L., Charles, S. T., Gunaratne, M., Baxter, N. N., Cotterchio, M., Cohen, Z., & Gallinger, S. (2018). Symptom severity and quality of life among long-term colorectal survivors compared with matched controls: A population based study. Diseases of the Colon and Rectum, 61(3), 355-363.