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Papers of the Week

Papers: 7 Oct 2023 - 13 Oct 2023


Am J Cancer Res




Multimorbidity in people living with and beyond cancer: a scoping review.


Ahmad TA, Gopal DP, Chelala C, Dayem Ullah AZ, Taylor SJ


Globally, both cancer incidence and survival are increasing. Early cancer detection and improved treatment means many people with cancer will survive for ten or more years following diagnosis. Multimorbidity, defined as two or more chronic conditions, is up to three times higher in people living with and beyond cancer (LWBC) compared to the general population. This scoping review summarises the research evidence on the association between cancer and multimorbidity in people LWBC. It explores five key domains in people LWBC: 1) prevalence of multimorbidity, 2) association between ethnicity and socio-economic status (SES) and multimorbidity, 3) association between health status and multimorbidity, 4) adverse health consequences of cancer and related treatments, and 5) whether being a cancer survivor impacts treatment received for multimorbidity. It focuses on ten common cancers with high survival rates: prostate, breast, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, bowel/colorectal, kidney, head and neck, bladder, leukaemia, uterine and myeloma. A search of Medline, CINAHL, Embase, PsychINFO and Web of Science databases identified 9,460 articles, 115 of which met the inclusion criteria. Articles were included in the review that involved multimorbidity in adult cancer patients. An evaluation of the evidence was performed, and a summary of findings was generated according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) Extension for Scoping Reviews guidelines. This review included work from 20 countries, most studies were from the US (44%). The results showed that the most common long-term conditions in people LWBC were: hypertension, heart conditions, depression, COPD, and diabetes. The most reported incident comorbidities a cancer diagnosis were congestive heart failure, chronic pain, and chronic fatigue. Multimorbidity tended to be higher amongst people LWBC from ethnic minority groups and those with lower SES. Quality of life was poorer in people LWBC with multimorbidity. The review identified the need for a uniform approach to measure multimorbidity in cancer patients across the world. Further research is required to compare multimorbidity before and after a cancer diagnosis, to explore the association of multimorbidity with ethnicity and socio-economic status and to determine whether a cancer diagnosis impacts care received for multimorbidity in people LWBC.