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Patient Profile Impacts QOL With Radiation Tx in Head, Neck Cancer

Patient-reported measures can lead to early detection of side effects, improved QOL

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FRIDAY, Aug. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- There are patient characteristics and clinical factors independently associated with physical and mental quality of life (QOL) in patients with head and neck cancer undergoing radiotherapy, according to a study published online Aug. 2 in Head & Neck.

Guro Lindviksmoen Astrup, from Oslo University Hospital in Norway, and colleagues evaluated 133 patients with head and neck cancer. From the initiation of radiotherapy through six months of follow-up, patients rated physical and mental QOL using the Short Form-12 five times.

The researchers found that QOL deteriorated during radiotherapy and gradually improved after completion. There was a negative association between less social support and both physical and mental QOL. There were also negative associations between older age, more comorbidities, more psychological symptoms, and concomitant chemotherapy with physical QOL. There were positive associations for male sex, fewer physical symptoms, surgery before radiotherapy, and concomitant chemotherapy with mental QOL.

"Clinicians can use knowledge on time course and associated characteristics to identify and inform patients at higher risk for diminished QOL," the authors write.

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