Clin Oncol | Volume 6, Issue 1 | Research Article | Open Access

The Psychological Impact on 472 Gynecological Cancer Patients: First Diagnosis vs. Disease Recurrence

Daniela Pia Rosaria Chieffo1,4*, Letizia Lafuenti1, Ludovica Mastrilli1,2, Barbara Costantini1, Silvia Riccardi1,5, Gabriella Ferrandina1,4, Vanda Salutari3, Francesco Fanfani3,4, Giovanni Scambia3,4 and Anna Fagotti3,4

1Agostino Gemelli University Policlinic, IRCCS, Italy
2Fondazione Umberto Veronesi, Italy
3Department of Woman and Child Health and Public Health, Agostino Gemelli University Policlinic, IRCCS, Italy
4Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Italy
5Clinical Psychology Unit, Santo Spirito Hospital, Italy

*Correspondance to: Daniela Pia Rosaria Chieffo 

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Objective: The diagnosis of gynecological cancer, or its recurrence, is often reflected in dramatic changes in a woman's life, and in her family too. The level of emotional distress associated with cancer treatment varies greatly at different stages of the treatment pathway and is determined not only by the severity of the clinical symptoms, but also by the therapeutic outcome and a number of individual psychological characteristics.
This study aims to assess the difference in the psychological impact of the diagnosis of recurrence compared to the first diagnosis, in patients with gynecological cancer, comparing distress, anxiety, and depression scores.
Method: Four hundred seven women with gynecological cancer who were admitted to the Female Tumors Day Hospital or oncological gynecology ward of Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli Foundation IRCCS were recruited. All patients completed questionnaires to assess distress, anxiety and depression at T0 on the admission.
Results: It was observed that group of patients with recurrence scored higher than the group with the first diagnosis, in all three scales: distress (p=0.000), anxiety (p=0.000) and depression (p=0.000).
Conclusion: Our findings show that patients with recurrence have obtained statistically higher scores in all three scales administered to assess distress, anxiety and depression. In line with other study, these results indicate that recurrence has a worse psychological impact on patients.


Anxiety; Cancer; Depression; Emotional distress; Female tumor; First diagnosis; Gynecology; Oncology; Psycho-oncology; Recurrence


Chieffo DPR, Lafuenti L, Mastrilli L, Costantini B, Riccardi S, Ferrandina G, et al. The Psychological Impact on 472 Gynecological Cancer Patients: First Diagnosis vs. Disease Recurrence. Clin Oncol. 2021;6:1855..

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