Issue N# 3 - 2009
Quality of life after radical surgery and radiotherapy for advanced or recurrent laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers
Authors : Dequanter D, Lothaire P, Eekhout D, Dheur S, Colin M, Andry G. (Bruxelles)
Ref. : Rev Laryngol Otol Rhinol. 2009;130,3:145-149.
Article published in french
Downloadable PDF document french
Aim: To determine the functional disabilities and overall quality of life of patients operated for advanced (Stages III-IV) or recurrent squamous cell carcinomas ( SCCA) after radiation therapy of the (pharyngo)larynx. Methods: From 1984 to 1997, 135 patients were consecutively treated for SCCA of the (pharyngo)larynx. There were 118 men and 17 women with a mean age of 60 years. The University of Washington QOL questionnaire (UW-QOL) (Deleyiannis et al) was administered to 19 long term survivors. Self-administered scale consisting of nine domains affected by treatment for head and neck cancer: pain, physical appareance, global activity, entertainement, employment, chewing, swallowing, speech and shoulder function. For each patient, a total score and weighted score were determined. Descriptive statistics were used. Results: 9/19 patients reported that compared with one year prior to the diagnosis of cancer their general health was the same. Pain resolved in 78%; the physical appearance was juged not modified in 52% of the cases. Chewing and swallowing functions were respected in 94% of the cases. These functions were considered as very important in 53% and 68% respectively. Five patients are still at work; 11 patients retired. Work was considered as very important for 9/19 patients. Speech rehabilitation permitted a modified but well understandable communication in 63% of the cases. This function was considered by 88% of the patients as very important. Finally, 73% of the patients (14/19) reported having a good to excellent overall QOL. Conclusion: Though disabling, pharyngolaryngectomies do not necessarily translate into worse overall QOL; ultimate disabilities are widely variable. Many factors such family, friends, personal leisure, activities, employement, cultural habits were important and depending on each patient in enjoyement of life’s estimation.
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