Quality of life predictors in patients with head and neck cancer receiving radiotherapy

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Beata Babiarczyk, Natalia Wnętrzak

4 (61) 2019 s. 262–269
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DOI: https://doi.org/10.20883/ppnoz.2019.57

Fraza do cytowania: Babiarczyk B., Wnętrzak N. Quality of life predictors in patients with head and neck cancer receiving radiotherapy. Polski Przegląd Nauk o Zdrowiu. 2019;4(61):262–269. DOI: https://doi.org/10.20883/ppnoz.2019.57

Introduction. The natural course of head and neck cancer as well as the applied treatment have, especially in advanced cases, negative impact on the patients’ quality of life. Radiotherapy is one of the most effective therapeutic methods in head and neck cancer. Despite modern irradiation techniques, radiotherapy can cause side effects and affect the quality of life. Aim of the study. Evaluation of factors affecting the quality of life of patients with head and neck cancer receiving radiotherapy. Material. The study included 77 patients with primary squamous cell carcinoma in the area of the head and neck, who were treated with radiotherapy alone. Methods. Method of diagnostic survey was used, with questionnaires of his own design and QLQ-C30 and QLQ-H&N35 as the research tools. Results. During the radiotherapy, patients evaluated the quality of their lives very badly. In QLQ-C30 questionnaire, almost all results in functional scales reached the minimum values, and in symptomatic scales – maximum values. Loss of appetite, pain and fatigue are the most bothersome symptoms affecting the quality of life. In QLQ-H&N35 questionnaire, all parameters, besides the difficulties with social contacts, have reached their maximum values. The presence of thick saliva, dry mouth and feelings ill are the symptoms most frequently reported by patients. Conclusions. Radiotherapy significantly influenced the quality of life of patients with head and neck cancer, causing deterioration of functioning. Socio-demographic factors such as: sex, age, place of residence, education, financial situation, marital status had a significant impact on the quality of life of patients during treatment.

Key words: head and neck cancer, radiotherapy, functional scales, quality of life.

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