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Neuropathological Diseases

ISSN Print: 2160-2468
ISSN Online: 2160-2476

Archives: Volume 1, 2012 to Volume 2, 2013

Neuropathological Diseases

DOI: 10.1615/NeuropatholDiseases.v2.i1.30
pages 21-30

Rectal Cancer: What Patients Face and Express During Their Care Experience

Silvia Flora
Department of Radiation Oncology and Diagnostic Imaging, National Cancer Institute CRO-Aviano, Italy
Paola Zotti
Psychological Oncology Unit, National Cancer Institute CRO-Aviano, Italy
Antonino De Paoli
Department of Radiation Oncology and Diagnostic Imaging, National Cancer Institute CRO-Aviano, Italy

ABSTRACT

In Western countries, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common type of cancer in terms of incidence and mortality, after breast cancer in women and lung cancer in men. Rectal cancer (RC) comprises 30−40% of CRC cases. After the introduction of multimodal treatment and the development of the surgical techniques, long-term survival is improving. Considering the importance of the functional and anatomical complexities related to RC, the goal of treatment comprises long-term functional outcomes and monitoring of distress and quality of life (QoL) of patients. Like other cancers, symptoms at diagnosis, toxicity of treatments, and impact of surgery are different for each patient. This article describes what patients face and express during their treatment programs and what defines the care pathway that best supports their disease-related experience. Patients showed interest and appreciation for the administration of QoL questionnaires, and they reported feeling reassured by being followed by a complete and coordinated team. This efficient therapeutic alliance may result in less psychological distress for these patients.