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Long‐term outcomes and quality of life after rectal carcinoma surgery. BJS 2010; 97: 1295-1303.

Published: 1st June 2010

Authors: C. Hoerske, K. Weber, J. Goehl, W. Hohenberger, S. Merkel


A cohort study was undertaken to investigate the long‐term oncological outcome, late adverse effects and quality of life (QOL) after treatment for rectal cancer.


This was an analysis of prospectively collected data from 268 consecutive patients with rectal carcinoma treated between 1995 and 1997 at the Department of Surgery, University Hospital Erlangen, Germany.


Median follow‐up was 8·8 years. The overall 10‐year survival rate was 48·1 per cent. Of 219 patients who had a curative resection, 67 developed recurrent disease and 13 had second malignancies. Seventy patients had either a permanent stoma or a late adverse effect. Anorectal dysfunction and small bowel obstruction were significantly more common among patients who had multimodal treatment (P < 0·001 and P = 0·049 respectively). Analysis of QOL in 97 long‐term survivors showed that receiving chemoradiotherapy, a permanent stoma and lower‐third rectal carcinoma were associated with significantly worse outcomes on several measures.


Late adverse effects and recurrences occurred in a significant number of patients during long‐term follow‐up. QOL varied according to tumour location and treatment type. Copyright © 2010 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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