Patients with colon cancer experience abnormalities in processing chronic pain that increase their sensitisation to pain of any kind in the future.
In addition, colon cancer survivors are more likely to suffer future lesions related with pain in the back and lower abdomen than healthy individuals of the same gender and age.
In 2 articles published in the journals Pain Medicine and the European Journal of Cancer Care, researchers from the University of Granada, Granada, Spain, analyse the physical and psychological status of patients with colon cancer after treatment.
The study showed that, compared with individuals of a similar age and gender, colon cancer survivors presented with a substantial deterioration in their functional capacity. This deterioration in functional capacity is due to their loss of physical condition because of physical rest during the treatment and convalescence that they have to undergo for several months.
“The loss of parameters like muscle strength in the back or cardiorespiratory capacity can mean up to a 60% deterioration by comparison with healthy individuals of the same gender and age,” said Manuel Arroyo-Morales, MD, University of Granada.
At the same time, patients with colon cancer have symptoms like fatigue or moderate tiredness due to the illness itself.
“All these physical abnormalities impact on their quality of life to the extent that this can be reduced by around 40% when compared with individuals of the same age and gender not affected by cancer,” said Dr. Arroyo-Morales.