Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 409--412

Referral patterns of gynecological cancer patients to a palliative medicine unit: A 2 years retrospective analysis

Department of Palliative Care and Psychooncology, Tata Medical Center, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Shrikant Atreya
Department of Palliative Care and Psychooncology, Tata Medical Center, Major Arterial Road, New Town, Rajarhat, Kolkata - 700 156, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_77_17

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Introduction: Patients with advanced gynecological malignancies often present with a high burden of symptoms endangering their quality of life. Objective: This study aims at assessing the symptom prevalence in patients with gynecological malignancies referred to palliative care and identify factors that predict high symptom burden. Methodology: This was a retrospective data analysis of gynecological cancer patients referred to palliative medicine department. We reviewed the electronic medical records of patients to obtain data on (1) demography (age, residence); (2) clinical information (diagnosis, stage of cancer, the reason for referral to palliative care service, symptoms, and performance status). The data were reported as frequency and percentages and analysis performed using Chi-square. P < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. Results: We analyzed 196 patients with advanced gynecological cancers presenting to palliative medicine department. The pain was the most common symptoms (70.04%) followed by anorexia (34.13%), constipation (28.57%), and fatigue (28.06%). There was a trend toward higher symptom burden in patients younger than 60 years. Among cancer diagnosis, patients with cervical cancer had a higher prevalence of pain (76.66%) followed by ovarian (70.79%) and endometrium (60.97%). Anorexia was the next commonly prevalent symptoms in ovarian (40.45%), endometrium (29.27%), and cervical cancer (28.33%). Conclusion: Considering the high symptom burden among advanced gynecological cancer patients it becomes imperative that patients receive adequate screening for symptoms and appropriate palliative care referral be offered to ensure overall well-being of the patients.


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