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Project reference number – 0077

Principal investigators – Niamh McKigney

Plain language summary - Bowel cancer is a common disease. In the UK there over 40,000 cases of bowel cancer every year and almost a third of those cases occur in the lowest part of the bowels, the rectum. Locally recurrent rectal cancer (LRRC) is when a patient’s cancer returns following surgery somewhere within the pelvis (the lower part of the body’s trunk). LRRC occurs in 5-10% of rectal cancer cases. When such cancer comes back the patient can suffer considerable pain and it is likely to reduce a patient’s quality of life. Also, treatment of LRRC may itself reduce the patient’s quality of life. A study of patients in the Netherlands suggested that patients with LRRC have a poorer quality of life than patients with primary rectal cancer. A similar Danish study found that quality of life was initially poorer in patients with LRRC but by 12-months it was similar to those who had not developed a recurrence.

This study will use data collected in two previous studies. The first was a study of quality of life in patients treated for bowel cancer in England, the second was a study to develop a questionnaire specifically to measure quality of life in patients with LRRC. We plan to use the data from these studies to compare quality of life outcomes. We hope our results will help guide discussions with patients regarding their treatment and the effect it may have on their quality of life.