Decreased quality of life prior to cancer surgery may increase risk of complications

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According to a new study published in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery, stress and family conflicts before cancer surgery may increase the risk of surgical complications and that by addressing quality of life issues prior to surgery, clinicians can decrease patients' stress, speed recoveries, and decrease health care costs.


In the study, researchers looked specifically at patients with colon cancer and found that patients with a decreased quality of life before cancer surgery were three times more likely to develop serious postoperative complications.


Researchers identified 431 patients with colon cancer opting for surgery. By assessing quality of life, they found 13% of patients had a poor quality of life, and those patients spent about 3.5 more days in the hospital compared with those who did not have a poor quality of life.


The researchers suggest that the increased likelihood of postoperative complications may be due to stress weakening the immune system, thus resulting in an increased risk for developing an infection. Furthermore, if a patient has a poor outlook on life, he or she may be working less to recover.


Both oncology nurses and physicians can work with patients to identify and address factors that may worsen postoperative recovery.

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Stress and family conflicts before cancer surgery may increase the risk of surgical complications.

Meeting non-medical needs ahead of operations can aid recovery, cut health care costs, study suggests How well patients recover from cancer surgery may be influenced by more than their medical conditions and the operations themselves.

Family conflicts and other non-medical problems may raise their risk of surgical complications, a Mayo Clinic study has found. Addressing such quality-of-life issues before an operation may reduce patients' stress, speed their recoveries and save health care dollars, the research suggests. The study specifically looked at colon cancer patients, and found that patients with a poor quality of life were nearly three times likelier to face serious postoperative complications.

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