Title : A longitudinal study of cancer-related fatigue among colorectal cancer patients during adjuvant chemotherapy
Worldwide, nearly 1.25 million patients are diagnosed with and more than 600,000 patients die from colorectal cancer each year. The third leading cause of death is colorectal cancer in Taiwan 2012. The current treatments for colorectal cancer including surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy are prescribed to improve survival and lower the risk of recurrence. However, disease and treatment-related toxicities in cancer patients may result in fatigue and interfered quality of life (QoL). Previous studies have reported that cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is the most common symptom experienced by patients at all stage of diseases, it can occur during treatment, in advanced disease and in disease-free survivors; the prevalence of fatigue is reported to be between 59–96% in patients undergoing chemotherapy, 65–100% in patients receiving radiation therapy, and 30% in long term survivors. Also, CRF has been reported as the most frequent and distressing toxicity of colon and rectal chemotherapy. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has published guidelines for the definition of CRF as ‘‘a persistent subjective sense of physical, emotional, and/or cognitive tiredness or exhaustion related to cancer or cancer treatment that is not proportional to recent activity and that signi?cantly interferes with usual functioning.” Besides, CRF could dynamically change with the interactions among disease progression, treatment regimen, tumor site, nutrition, infection or other factors. Therefore, to minimize the impact of CRF on cancer patients, more in-depth researches on CRF are needed.
The aim of this longitudinal study is to examine the dynamic changes, correlated factors and QoL of CRF among colorectal cancer patients during adjuvant chemotherapy. Furthermore, the results will supply physicians with more understanding about CRF, and help them to enhance the quality on cancer care to being perfected in the future.