Philippine Journal of Surgical Specialties Vol. 68, No. 2, April-June 2013, pp 31-40

A Prospective Study on the Quality of Life After Palliative Surgery for Patients with Advanced Breast or Gastrointestinal Malignancies

Author(s): Herbert C. Tagab, M.D., F.P.C.S.; Stephen Sixto Siguan, M.D., F.P.C.S. and Saleshe Tracy Anne G. Baking, M.D.

Objective: To evaluate the quality of life (QoL) after palliative surgery of patients with advanced breast or gastrointestinal malignancies

Quality of Life (QoL) of 32 patients with advanced breast or gastrointestinal cancer (Stage IIIB up to Stage IV) was evaluated before surgery (baseline), then 7 and 30 days after surgery using the Medical Outcomes Study Short form (SF-36v2™ Questionnaire). Statistical significance of the difference in outcomes was tested using the two-tailed T-test at 95% CI.

Preoperatively, the patients scored poorly (scores below the average mean of 50) in all 8 subscales of the SF-36v2™. Seven days after a palliative surgery, patients showed significant improvement in all subscales except Vitality and Social Functioning. The patients experienced statistically significant changes in quality of life subscale scores on Physical Functioning, Role-Physical, Bodily Pain, General Health, Role Emotional, and Mental Health after surgery. A significant change in all subscales occurred 30 days after surgery compared to the baseline and 7 days post-op.

While patients with advanced malignancy experienced problems with quality of life preoperatively, they improved postoperatively but not to the level of a normal person.

Key words: quality of life, advanced breast cancer, advanced gastrointestinal malignancy