Quality of life assessment of women with cervical cancer undergoing radiotherapy

Introduction: Patients with cancer are a special social group that chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy are affecting their Quality of Life (QoL). A part of the QoL is sexual health which is greatly affected in women on radiotherapy.

Purpose: of the present study was to specify the level of sexual health of patients with cervical cancer on radiotherapy during the first 1-4 weeks after completion of sessions, as well as the various problems that could occur regarding QoL, physical, mental and sexual health.

Material and Method: Digital questionnaires were sent to patients with the above criteria, regardless of age, educational level or area of residence during June-August 2021. For data collection the CX24 questionnaire of the European Cancer Research and Therapy questionnaire was used.

Results: Fifty three women participated of various age groups, with or without cancer history, positive or negative HPV test and various other characteristics. The majority of patients had gave birth, performed Pap-test frequently enough, while half of them had a cancer history and HPV diagnosis. More than 80% of patients had not followed hormone therapy, but were correlated with blood in the stools or sexual dysfunctions and low/moderate sense of physical status. Women between 31-40 years of age were shown to have less problems compared to those between 41-50 years old, while HPV diagnosis was not correlated with cancer symptomatology. Data reliability was quite high.

Conclusions: The present study shows that QoL is not very good during the first 1-4 weeks following radiotherapy as it is affected by a variety of factors and is differentiated according to patient’s age, cancer history or other demographic characteristics. The continuity of the research in a bigger and more representative sample will provide answers needed for correct formulation of individualized strategies to achieve the desired level of Qo in women with cervical cancer under radiotherapy.