(June 1, 2017) A study, published last month in Gynecologic Oncology, focused on an area of ovarian cancer that is rarely talked about: the quality of life (QOL) for long term survivors of advanced stage ovarian cancer. Woman surviving 8.5 years or longer, who had anywhere from 0 recurrences to multiple recurrences, were given surveys that asked participants to rate their mood, social support, physical activity, diet, and clinical characteristics. Although the average QOL was well scored, there were a few factors that affected one’s QOL. For example, women with multiple recurrences did not score as highly in physical and emotional well-being than those with 0 or 1 recurrence. Across all survivor groups, however, sexual function was seen as a difficultly, and physical activity levels were low for almost half the participants.

The study emphasized that, even with a relatively high QOL and psychological adjustment for most survivors, health care practitioners should be aware of the physical and emotional stress their long term surviving patients may be dealing with.