Background/Aims: Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) has been an established treatment for indicated early gastric cancer (EGC) without deterioration of quality of life (QOL) compared with surgical resection. The aim of this study was to evaluate long-term QOL in patients undergoing ESD for EGC. Methods: Patients scheduled to undergo curative ESD for EGC were prospectively enrolled from 12 institutions between May 2010 and December 2011. Assessments of QOL with Korean versions of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QOL questionnaire-core (QLQ-C30) and a gastric cancer-specific questionnaire (STO22) were performed at baseline and at 7 days, 3 months, and 6 months after ESD. Results: A total of 666 subjects were assessed for QLQ-C30 and QLQ-STO22. The mean QLQ-C30 score was 69.5 at baseline, 68.8 at 7 days, 73.1 at 3 months, and 73.2 at 6 months. The global health status on the EORTC QLQ-C30 was significantly improved after 3 and 6 months (p=0.0003 and p<0.0001, respectively). The QLQ-C30 and STO22 scores were not significantly different, or they only slightly deteriorated between before and immediately after ESD, but they were significantly improved after 3 and 6 months (p<0.05). Conclusions: QOL did not deteriorate immediately after ESD, and it improved more significantly at up to 6 months in patients who underwent curative ESD for EGC without significant complications.
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