There is wide variation in the application of adjuvant chemotherapy in early-stage epithelial ovarian cancer. Our aim was to assess differences in health-related quality of life (hrqol) between patients with early-stage ovarian cancer who did or did not receive chemotherapy as adjuvant treatment.
All patients diagnosed with early-stage ovarian cancer between 2000 and 2010 within the population-based Eindhoven Cancer Registry (n = 191) were enrolled in this study. Patients were requested to complete questionnaires, including the cancer-specific (qlq-C30) and ovarian cancer-specific (qlq-OV28) quality of life measures from the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer. Primary outcome measures were the generic-and cancer-specific domain scores for hrqol in ovarian cancer survivors.
Of the 107 patients (56%) who returned the questionnaires, 57 (53.3%) had received adjuvant chemotherapy and 50 (46.7%) had been treated with surgery alone. Significant differences in hrqol between those groups were found in the symptom scales for peripheral neuropathy, attitude toward sickness, and financial situation, with worse scores in the chemotherapy group.
Results of our study show that patients who receive adjuvant chemotherapy have a significantly worse score for 3 aspects of hrqol. Efforts should be made to reduce use of adjuvant chemotherapy in early-stage ovarian cancer. Moreover, preventive strategies to improve long-term quality of life for those who need adjuvant chemotherapy should be explored.