Quality of Life After Radiotherapy for Rectal and Anal Cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: With advances in radiation therapy (RT) techniques for rectal and anal cancers allowing for the modulation of critical normal tissues, there has been an increased emphasis on improving the quality of life (QOL) for cancer survivors. Herein, we review the literature to examine the impact of RT on QOL and patient-reported outcomes (PROs) to better inform providers about the challenges of survivorship. Recent Findings: Large systematic reviews, recent studies, and long-term follow-up of pivotal clinical trials have shown that RT impacts QOL, particularly fecal continence and sexual function. Modern preoperative RT techniques, which allow for decreased dose to organs-at-risk, will likely improve QOL. Summary: RT, although critical in the treatment of rectal and anal cancer, can have a profound impact on QOL for some patients. Recent studies have included PROs and validated QOL metrics to better inform providers and patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent Colorectal Cancer Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology
  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology


  • Anus neoplasms
  • Cancer survivors
  • Patient-reported outcome measures
  • Quality of life
  • Radiation therapy
  • Rectal neoplasms

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