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World J Gastroenterol. Jun 21, 2008; 14(23): 3725-3728
Published online Jun 21, 2008. doi: 10.3748/wjg.14.3725
Inoperable esophageal cancer and outcome of palliative care
Sima Besharat, Ali Jabbari, Shahryar Semnani, Abbasali Keshtkar, Jeran Marjani
Sima Besharat, Ali Jabbari, Shahryar Semnani, Abbasali Keshtkar, Jeran Marjani, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Golestan Research Center of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Gorgan 49177-65181, Iran
Author contributions: Besharat S designed the research and wrote the paper; Jabbari A contributed new references and edited the paper; Semnani S gave the idea of the research and handled it scientifically; Keshtkar A analyzed data and Marjani J gathered data.
Correspondence to: Shahryar Semnani, MD, Gastro-enterologist, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Golestan Research center of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2nd Floor, Nabavi Polyclinic, 4th Azar, 5 Azar Boulevard, Gorgan 49177-65181, Golestan Province, Iran. sh_semnani@yahoo.com
Telephone: +98-171-2240835
Fax: +98-171-2269210
Received: January 20, 2008
Revised: April 9, 2008
Accepted: April 16, 2008
Published online: June 21, 2008

AIM: To determine the outcome of esophageal cancer patients referred for palliative care, in Gorgan and Gonbad gastrointestinal clinics, northeast of Iran.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study was done on inoperable esophageal cancer cases referred to gastrointestinal clinics in Gorgan and Gonbad city (2005-2006). Demographic data were collected during the procedure and cases were followed up every one month. Improvement proportion was calculated with 95% confidence interval, to determine the rate of improvement. Survival analysis and Kaplan-Meier methods were used to estimate the duration of palliative care effectiveness.

RESULTS: We recruited 39 cases into the study. Squamous cell carcinoma was the most prevalent (92.3%). The middle third of the esophagus was involved predominantly (51.3%). Dilation was the most preferred method (89.7%) and stenting was done in 4 cases. Decreasing dysphagia score was not related to palliation method or pathology type of carcinoma. Age of the patients was significantly related to the improvement of dysphagia score. Mean survival time was 137.6 d and median was 103 d.

CONCLUSION: Results of this study showed a low survival rate after palliative care in esophageal cancer cases despite dysphagia scores’ improvement after dilating or stenting.

Keywords: Esophageal cancer, Palliative care, Survival, Dysphagia, Iran