Incidence of cervical cancer in India accounts for26 % of the global burden. Advancements in treatment have increased survival rates, however the quality of life of these patients are under reported in India. The current objective is to determine the quality of life of cervical cancer survivors in Tamilnadu- India.
Three year or more DFS Cervical cancer survivors (N=103) from January 2011 to March 2012 (average years of survival =3.85, age range =27 to 70 years, Mean age= 49.68 years) were administered Cancer Institute Quality of Life Questionnaire (CI-QOL), EORTC QLQ CX24 and Distress Thermometer with their consent. Disease stage (Stage I & II N=77, and stage III N=26), type of treatment (received only radiation therapy (N=55) and combined modality (N=47)) and year of survival were considered for analysis.
Analysis revealed that 33.9% of the cervical cancer survivors were found to have better QOL whereas 66.1% reported poor QOL. While 90.3% of the survivors reported being inactive sexually, 17.1% of them worried about their sexual life. In contrast, majority (79.6%) of them reported better body image, no peripheral neuropathy (81.6) and no menopausal symptoms (96.1%). The disease stage (t=.303; p < .762) and treatment (t=.551; p <.583) did not alter the QOL. Similarly, these survivors did not differ significantly in body image, symptom experience scale and sexual/ vaginal functioning. The level of reported distress (M=3.88) was found to be less among most of the survivors. QOL and distress was found to be significantly related (r=-.297, p=.002).
Though majority of the DFS cervical cancer survivors did not report good quality of life, and have inactive sexual lives they are free from distress. Disease stage and the type of treatment received did not influence QOL functional scales.