Changes in health-related quality of life in older women after diagnosis with gynecologic cancer

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3 Scopus citations


Purpose: The impact of gynecologic cancer on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is not fully understood. To our knowledge, this is the first longitudinal study to measure HRQOL changes from before to after gynecologic cancer diagnosis in older women. Methods: Data were obtained from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results – Medicare Health Outcomes Survey database. Women aged 65 and older who were diagnosed with cervical, ovarian, or uterine cancer between baseline and follow-up surveys (n = 248; mean time from diagnosis = 12.54 ± 7.11 months) were propensity-matched to cancer-free controls (n = 1240). Logistic regression was used to assess risk of functional impairments and depressive symptoms at follow-up. Changes in HRQOL, as measured by the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 and Veterans RAND 12-Item Survey, were estimated with mixed effects linear models. Results: Women who were within 12 months of diagnosis and women diagnosed with regional/distant disease had significantly greater odds than controls of impairment at follow-up. HRQOL declines were greatest in those with advanced disease, with the most notable changes from baseline to follow-up observed for role limitations due to emotional problems (−8.60 vs. −3.42 in controls), general health (−7.76 vs 0.10), and physical functioning (−7.70 vs. −1.67). There were significant decreases in physical functioning and role limitations due to emotional problems for all cancer patients regardless of time since diagnosis. Conclusions: Gynecologic cancer has significant impacts on physical and mental aspects of HRQOL in older women. Interventions are needed to reduce pain, provide support, and prepare patients for changes in functioning and health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGynecologic Oncology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • Cancer survivor
  • Depression
  • Gynecologic cancer
  • Older adults
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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