Quality of life of disease-free survivors of advanced (stage III or IV) oropharyngeal cancer

Authors

  • Frederic W.-B. Deleyiannis MD, MPhil, MPH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific St., Box 356515, Seattle, WA 98195-6515
    • Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific St., Box 356515, Seattle, WA 98195-6515
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ernest A. Weymuller Jr MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific St., Box 356515, Seattle, WA 98195-6515
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Marc D. Coltrera MD

    1. Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific St., Box 356515, Seattle, WA 98195-6515
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Background

This study assessed the quality of life (QOL) of patients with advanced oropharyngeal cancer (stage III or IV) who were disease-free at 1 year posttreatment.

Methods

Between 1993 and 1994, 13 consecutive cases were identified from the University of Washington QOL registry. Patients were divided into two groups, depending on treatment: surgical group, 6 patients treated with surgical resection and postoperative radiotherapy; and nonsurgical group, 7 patients treated with definitive radiotherapy.

Results

Composite pretreatment and posttreatment QOL scores were similar for the two treatment groups. Subset analysis of QOL domains revealed that both treatment groups generally reported a worsening of chewing and swallowing. A worsening of appearance and of speech was more frequently reported by the surgical group. Sixty-seven percent of the surgically treated patients reported pain relief, as opposed to only 29% of the nonsurgical group.

Conclusion

Composite QOL-score sensitivity may be compromised by inverse changes in individual QOL domains. Treatment-specific QOL domains may be more sensitive measures of outcome. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Head Neck 19:466–473, 1997.

Ancillary