1413TiP - Quality of life incriminating symptoms in cancer patients and their weight in the doctor-patient-talk: a survey of the “quality of life” working...

Date 30 September 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session Poster presentation II
Topics Supportive Measures
Presenter Felix Tauchert
Authors F.K. Tauchert1, R. Hofheinz2, J. Quidde3, N. Marschner4, M. Hipp5, M. Weber6, H. Hoeffkes7, E. Jaeger1, S. Al-Batran8
  • 1Institut für klinische Forschung (IKF) am Krankenhaus Nordwest - UCT, Universitäres Centrum für Tumorerkrankungen Frankfurt, 60488 - Frankfurt am Main/DE
  • 2, Iii. Medizinische Klinik Für Hämatologie Und Onkologie, Tagestherapiezentrum, 2Universitätsmedizin Mannheim, Universität Heidelberg, Mannheim/DE
  • 3Hubertus Wald Tumorzentrum, 3Universitäres Cancer Center Hamburg, Hamburg/DE
  • 4Praxis Für Interdisziplinäre Onkologie & Hämatologie, Praxis für interdisziplinäre Onkologie & Hämatologie, 79106 - Freiburg i. Breisgau/DE
  • 5Klinik Und Poliklinik Für Strahlentherapie, Universitätsklinik Regensburg, Regensburg/DE
  • 6Medizinische Klinik Iii Für Hämatologie, Internistische Onkologie Und Pulmologie, Universitätsmedizin Mainz, Mainz/DE
  • 7Tumorklinik, Klinikum Fulda gAG, DE-36043 - Fulda/DE
  • 8Medizinische Klinik Ii Für Hämatologie Und Onkologie, Institut für klinische Forschung (IKF) am Krankenhaus Nordwest - UCT, Universitäres Centrum für Tumorerkrankungen Frankfurt, 60488 - Frankfurt am Main/DE



Most cancer specific Quality of life (QoL) questioners (including the EORTC QLQ-C30) are based on the assumption that fatigue, pain, nausea & vomiting are the most important symptoms with impact on QoL of cancer patients. During the last 20 years, progress in supportive care has been made and the weight of symptoms may have changed. Using a standardized questioner, we investigated which symptoms incriminate cancer patients (pts) most.


Pts were asked to provide confidential information on the following items: patient characteristics, underlying malignant disease and treatment, performance status (PS), incrimination of the QoL by various symptoms (19 items) and their weight in the patient-to-doctor talk. Data were collected and analyzed using standard statistical methods.


1,300 pts participated so far. The median age was 63 years (18-93). 51.7% of pts were female and 72.7% had an ECOG PS of 0-2. Most frequent malignancies were breast cancer (211), colorectal cancer (153), lymphomas (98) and lung cancer (88). Most pts received chemo- or radiotherapy (67%). 16% were in follow-up or surveillance and 17% had other forms of therapy or did not state at all. The most incriminating problems were weakness, tiredness & poor concentration, the question “what is going to happen?” and alopecia.

Sexual life, social trouble, depression, anxiety & sorrows and insomnia were reported as incriminating problems with inadequate attention in the doctor-patient-talk (adequate attention reported in 15.6% - 46.1% of pts respectively).

Pts with metastatic disease reported significant more incrimination in QoL by weakness, dypsnea, pain, loss of appetite, “state of therapy and outlook”, “what is going to happen?” and anxiety & sorrows.

Pts with colorectal cancer reported significantly more incrimination by diarrhea but less by weakness, dyspnea, alopecia, “what is going to happen?” and anxiety & sorrows than other pts.


Overall pts reported fatigue, alopecia and insomnia as the QoL most incriminating symptoms. Pain and nausea & vomiting were less incriminating, possibly due to improved supportive care. Sexual life, social trouble, depression, anxiety & sorrows, and insomnia receive inadequate attention in the doctor-patient-talk.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.