Women with early-stage cervical cancer may experience changes in their quality of life (QoL) due to treatment or to the effects of the cancer. In this study, we examined differences in QoL by treatment modality between women who underwent surgery only and those treated with concurrent chemoradiation (CCRT).
The sample of 290 women had been diagnosed with stage I–II cervical cancer. Data were collected on these women’s demographic and disease characteristics, general QoL, and cancer-specific QoL using an author-designed demographic-disease survey, the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer QoL questionnaire, and the Taiwanese-version Cervical Cancer Module 24 questionnaire, respectively. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics and analysis of covariance.
Women with cervical cancer who underwent surgery only had significantly worse constipation and body image than those treated with CCRT. Women who underwent CCRT had worse physical and role functioning than those who underwent surgery only. Women who had CCRT also reported worse symptoms, such as fatigue, appetite loss, diarrhea, financial difficulties, sexual enjoyment, and sexual/vaginal functioning, than those who had only surgery.
Our results add knowledge about QoL in women with early-stage cervical cancer who receive different treatment modalities. When suggesting treatment modalities for women with cervical cancer, health professionals should also consider changes in women’s QoL after cancer treatment. To improve women’s QoL after treatment, professionals should also offer timely and individualized interventions based on women’s cervical cancer treatment.