Clinical research
Factors influencing quality of life in patients during radiotherapy for head and neck cancer
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Submission date: 2012-07-06
Final revision date: 2012-10-31
Acceptance date: 2012-11-02
Online publication date: 2013-04-19
Publication date: 2014-12-17
Arch Med Sci 2014;10(6):1153–1159
Introduction: Radiotherapy (RT) in combination with chemotherapy is a standard of care for patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). RT is associated with side effects, which impact on quality of life (QoL). Thus, the aim of this prospective longitudinal study was to investigate the impact of RT on the QoL of patients with HNSCC during RT.
Material and methods: From September 2008 to February 2010, 205 patients with locally advanced HNSCC were enrolled. The data pertaining to their QoL were collected using the EORTC QLQ-C30 and the EORTC Head and Neck Module (QLQ-H&N35) and then all items were transformed to a 0-100 scale according to the guidelines of the EORTC. The following clinical factors were chosen to study their potential influence on the QoL; site of primary, clinical stage, and methods of therapy: RT vs. chemoradiotherapy (CRT). Additionally, the sociodemographic factors (age, gender, education, habit of smoking) were studied.
Results: Deterioration of almost all scales and items in the QLQ-C30 and QLQ-H&N35 questionnaire were noted at the end of RT. The following factors negatively influenced the QoL: age < 60 years (p < 0.05), female gender (p < 0.05), habit of smoking (p < 0.01), advanced clinical stage (III and IV) (p < 0.05), site of primary (larynx, hypopharynx) (p < 0.01), and CRT (p < 0.01).
Conclusions: Our study showed that RT significantly negatively influenced QoL at the end of the RT course. Additionally, this study demonstrated that age, gender, smoking habit, tumor site, and clinical stage of disease showed a significant effect on the QoL of HNSCC patients during RT.