Abstract
TO ASSESS THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN PATIENTS OF ORAL CANCER WHO HAVE UNDERGONE SURGERY: A NOVEL RESEARCH APPROACH

Dr. Rohit Singh, Dr. Supriya Singh*, Dr. D. K. Singh, Dr. Stuti Kumari, Dr. Vaibhav Kamal and
Dr. Vishwendra Pratap

ABSTRACT

Objective: Oral cancer accounts for only 5% of all cancers and cancer deaths in India The outcome of management strategies for the treatment of oral cancer has always been in terms of disease-specific survival. Modern assessment of outcome now also includes assessment of quality of life (QOL). Little has been done previously in Australia to assess the QOL of patients treated primarily by surgery for oral cancer. Materials and Methods: 44 patients who had undergone primary surgical management for oral cancer underwent assessment of QOL using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer QOL questionnaire version 3 (EORTC QLQ-C30) and the University of Washington Head and Neck QOL questionnaire version 4 (UWQOL). Similar emotional domains were compared and factors affecting QOL were determined. Results: Fifty-five percent of patients were male and 45% were female. The mean age was 61.8 years (range, 38 to 86 years) with a mean review time of 24.6 months (SD, 20.3 months) postoperatively. Good QOL scores were experienced by most patients. A new addition to the UWQOL version 4 was the mood and anxiety domains, and these correlated well with the emotional domains of the EORTC QLQ-C30 using Spearman rank correlations. Factors significantly affecting survival included age, overall stage, neck dissection, free flap, and postoperative radiotherapy using Mann-Whitney tests (P _ .05). No significant difference in QOL was found in patients reviewed at either less than or greater than 1 year. Conclusions: This study confirms previous reports in the literature. It has provided us with the foundation for further investigation of QOL in patients who have been and who will be treated for oral cancer. It also gives us a new measure of outcome to compare against survival rates.

Keywords: Oral cancer, surgery, quality of life.


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