Long-term quality of life, sexual health and gastrointestinal function following colorectal cancer resection in an Asian cohort.



As populations age and cancer management improves, long-term survivorship and quality-of-life (QOL) outcomes are becoming equally important as oncological results. Data from Asian populations are scarce. We aimed to evaluate the sexual health, gastrointestinal function and QOL amongst colorectal cancer survivors in a tertiary referral centre in Singapore.


Adults who had undergone elective curative surgery for non-metastatic colorectal cancer at least 2 years prior were included. Exclusion criteria were cognitive disease, serious postoperative complications or recurrent cancer. Participants were invited to complete the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaires EORTC-QLQ-C30 and QLQ-CR29. Using multiple bivariate analysis, r scores were used to examine relationship trends between QOL domains and survivor sociodemographic and disease-specific characteristics.


From February 2017 to July 2019, 400 responses were recorded. Median age and follow-up duration were 64 years (range 32-90) and 78 months (interquartile range 49-113) respectively. Patients who had Stage III cancer had better overall QOL scores compared to Stage I/II. Rectal (vs. colon) cancer negatively influenced sexual health and gastrointestinal function, but did not appear to affect overall QOL. Amongst our cohort, 57% (n = 129) of men and 43% (n = 75) of women were sexually active. Markers of socioeconomic status, including employment, education and housing type, were found to significantly impact perception of various aspects of QOL.


Knowledge of factors which influence well-being can identify individuals who may benefit from tailored management strategies. Regular patient-doctor contact may play a role in building and maintaining positive perspectives of cancer survivors. Normative data should be obtained from local populations to facilitate future comparative research.





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Publication Info

Seow-En, Isaac, Aik Yong Chok, David Bruce Matchar, Sungwon Yoon, Dawn Qingqing Chong and Emile Kwong-Wei Tan (2021). Long-term quality of life, sexual health and gastrointestinal function following colorectal cancer resection in an Asian cohort. Colorectal disease : the official journal of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland, 23(9). pp. 2348–2360. 10.1111/codi.15768 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/23845.

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David Bruce Matchar

Professor of Medicine

My research relates to clinical practice improvement - from the development of clinical policies to their implementation in real world clinical settings. Most recently my major content focus has been cerebrovascular disease. Other major clinical areas in which I work include the range of disabling neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, and cancer prevention.
Notable features of my work are: (1) reliance on analytic strategies such as meta-analysis, simulation, decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis; (2) a balancing of methodological rigor the needs of medical professionals; and (3) dependence on interdisciplinary groups of experts.
This approach is best illustrated by the Stroke Prevention Patient Outcome Research Team (PORT), for which I served as principal investigator. Funded by the AHCPR, the PORT involved 35 investigators at 13 institutions. The Stroke PORT has been highly productive and has led to a stroke prevention project funded as a public/private partnership by the AHCPR and DuPont Pharma, the Managing Anticoagulation Services Trial (MAST). MAST is a practice improvement trial in 6 managed care organizations, focussing on optimizing anticoagulation for individuals with atrial fibrillation.
I serve as consultant in the general area of analytic strategies for clinical policy development, as well as for specific projects related to stroke (e.g., acute stroke treatment, management of atrial fibrillation, and use of carotid endarterectomy.) I have worked with AHCPR (now AHRQ), ACP, AHA, AAN, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NSA, WHO, and several pharmaceutical companies.
Key Words: clinical policy, disease management, stroke, decision analysis, clinical guidelines

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