Purpose: Because more than 70 % of patients with localized tumors experience 10 years of cancer-specific survival, their quality of life (QoL) after surgery is important. The aim of this study was to explore the impact of the type of surgery (partial vs. total nephrectomy) and the postoperative outcome on the QoL of patients with renal cancer.
Methods: A total of 205 patients underwent partial or total nephrectomy at the Department of Urology, Roskilde Hospital, between February 2008 and June 2013 and survived until the time of the survey. The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Core Questionnaire 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30) was sent to this cohort in January 2014.
Results: The response rate was 74.1 % for complete answers. The overall global health status (QoL) was low (69.12 %) for all patient groups, regardless of the operation technique and the underlying medical status. Total nephrectomy was a negative predictor of QoL, physical functioning, role functioning, and fatigue. Patients who experienced recurrence reported significant deterioration in 11 of the 15 EORTC QLQ-C30 domains. Additionally, thinking about cancer only during the follow-up visit was associated with a significant decrease in emotional functioning and role functioning compared with never thinking about one’s cancer.
Conclusion: Total nephrectomy was a negative predictor of overall global health status. There is a demand for a reasonable follow-up program with an individual control interval according to the risk of recurrence and the possibility of treatment as well as the patient’s discretion.