Symptom management in gynecologic malignancies

Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy (Impact Factor: 3.46). 07/2011; 11(7):1077-89. DOI: 10.1586/era.11.83
Source: PubMed


Patients with gynecologic cancer experience significant symptom burden throughout their disease course and treatment, which negatively impacts their quality of life. The most common symptoms in gynecologic cancer include pain, fatigue, depression and anxiety. Palliative care, including symptom management, focuses on the prevention and relief of suffering and improvement in quality of life, irrespective of prognosis. In a comprehensive cancer care model, palliative care, including symptom management, is offered concurrently with anticancer therapies throughout the disease course, not just at the end of life and not only once curative attempts have been abandoned. Good symptom management begins with routine symptom assessment and use of a standardized screening tool can help identify patients with high symptom burden. Literature regarding epidemiology, assessment and management of pain, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, lymphedema, ascites, depression, anxiety and sexual dysfunction in gynecologic oncology patients will be reviewed in this article.

21 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Integrative oncology lends itself to the comprehensive practice of gynecologic oncology with multiple tools and interventions that can impact on QoL and survival. However, there remains a paucity of well-designed, well-powered randomized control trials on various CAM modalities for gynecologic cancer patients. The reasons for the lack of level 1 evidence include the nascent state of integrative medicine as a science, the limitations on CAM funding, the relative lack of integration of CAM practitioners into the oncology community, and absence of strict regulation of herbs and supplements by the US FDA. The use of CAM as adjunctive therapies will likely continue given the patient-driven trends to date, and given the evidence for at least safety and potentially efficacy, our patients deserve our willingness to use all possible approaches to improving their outcomes. Continued evolution of our ability to specifically measure and describe QoL will further our ability to hone in on domains most important to patients and their survival and allow practitioners to make patient-specific recommendations. Multimodal programs that include physical activity, stress management, and diet have the potential to address demonstrated deficits in PWB and FWB in ovarian cancer patients which suggests a model of collaborative gynecologic oncology care). Integrative oncology represents a holistic approach to patient care whose goal is maximization of patient quantity and quality of life. Patients can achieve this optimal outcome through the synergy of conventional care, integrative modalities, lifestyle modifications, and supportive care. Refer to Table 4 for a listing of integrated medicine Internet resources.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The management of malignant ascites is critical for the treatment of patients with advanced gynecological cancer. The purpose of this study was to assess the clinical significance of cell-free and concentrated ascites re-infusion therapy (CART). Adverse events, alterations in Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, serum albumin, body weight and abdominal circumference, and overall survival were examined in 22 patients with advanced gynecological cancer which were treated with CART. Most of the adverse events were grade 1 or 2 fever. CART treatment had little effect on ECOG performance status and on levels of serum albumin. There was a significant decrease in body weight and in abdominal circumference post-treatment with CART, relative to pre-treatment (p<0.01). The overall survival rate was significantly prolonged in 14 patients after CART plus chemotherapy, as compared with eight patients after CART alone (p<0.01). CART may contribute to the improvement of quality of life and of survival in patients with advanced gynecological cancer.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Anticancer research
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Diagnosis and treatment procedures in cancers and resulting anxiety negatively affect the individual and the family. Particularly treatment methods may generate psychological symptoms. The aim of this study was to determine the level of such symptoms in Turkish gynecologic cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. A total of 41 patients who were referred to our gynecologic oncology research clinic between January-March 2012, receiving 3 months or more chemotherapy and who agreed to participate were enrolled in study. All the data were collected using a personal information form, Edmonton Symptom Assesment System and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Patients received highest point average from fatigue symptom (6.53±2.67) and lowest point average from dyspnea (1.53±3.03) according to Edmonton Symptom Assesment System. The mean State Anxiety score of patients was 43.1±9.77 and mean Trait Anxiety score was 46.7±7.01. Comparing symptoms of patients and mean State Anxiety score it was found that there was a statistically significant corelation with symptoms like pain (p<0.05), sadness (p<0.001), insomnia (p<0.05), state of well being (p<0.001) and dyspnea (p<0.05). Similarly comparing symptoms of patients and mean Trait Anxiety score demonstrated significant correlations for fatigue (p<0.05), sadness (p<0.01), insomnia (p<0.01) and state of well-being (p<0.01). As a result, patients with gynecological cancers experienced symptoms related to chemotherapy and a moderate level of anxiety. In accordance, appropriate interventions should recommended for the evaluation and improvement of anxiety and symptoms related to treatment in cancer patients.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention: APJCP
Show more