Longitudinal quality of life in Turkish patients with head and neck cancer undergoing radiotherapy.

Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer

PubMedID: 23475195

Citak E, Tulek Z. Longitudinal quality of life in Turkish patients with head and neck cancer undergoing radiotherapy. Support Care Cancer. 2013;21(8):2171-83.
PURPOSE
This study aims to assess the quality of life and to define its determinants in patients with head and neck cancer undergoing radiotherapy.

METHOD
This prospective study was performed in an outpatient clinic of radiation oncology with a sample of 54 consecutive patients. Interview forms-European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire and Head and Neck Module to measure quality of life, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group criteria to determine radiation toxicity, and Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment to assess nutritional status-were used to obtain personal and disease-related data before, at the end of radiotherapy, and 1 and 3 months post-therapy.

RESULTS
It was determined that various subscales of functional and symptom scales of quality of life were deteriorated at the end of radiotherapy and started to improve at 1 month after treatment. However, dry mouth and sticky saliva symptom scales did not follow the same pattern, and they took more time to improve. Quality of life (QoL) was found to be worse in younger age, higher education, higher income level, type of cancer, advanced stage, presence of tracheostomy, chemoradiation, higher dose of RT, bad nutritional status, and radiation toxicity.

CONCLUSIONS
Our results emphasize the vital need of support for head and neck cancer patients during radiotherapy, especially during the first month.