Older and younger patients have similar health-related quality of life after esophagectomy for esophageal cancer, a new study published online ahead of print in the journal BMC Cancer has shown.

For the study, researchers at the Veneto Institute of Oncology in Italy sought to evaluate the impact of esophagectomy for cancer in elderly patients on health-related quality of life.

Researchers retrospectively analyzed data from 109 patients with esophageal cancer who underwent esophagectomy between November 2009 and March 2014.

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Quality of life was assessed using the EORTC C-30 and OES-18 questionnaires at the time of admission, at discharge, and 3 months after surgery. Of the 109 patients, 21.1% were 70 years or older and 78.9% were younger than 70.

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Results showed that global quality of life was clinically similar between older and younger patients over time. Researchers found that older patients reported clinically and statistically significantly worse swallowing saliva, choking when swallowing, and eating difficulties than younger patients only at the time of admission before surgery.

“This result may also be due to some predisposition of the elderly to adapt to the new status,” the authors concluded.


  1. Cavallin F, Pinto E, Saadeh LM, et al. Health related quality of life after oesophagectomy: elderly patients refer similar eating and swallowing difficulties than younger patients [published online ahead of print September 21, 2015]. BMC Cancer. doi: 10.1186/s12885-015-1647-5.