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Keywords:

  • laryngeal cancer;
  • radiotherapy;
  • quality of life

Abstract

Background

The aim of this study was to describe prospectively quality of life and mood before and after radiotherapy for laryngeal cancer.

Methods

Sixty-five patients with Tis-T3 laryngeal cancer treated with radiotherapy completed the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Core Questionnaire, the EORTC Head and Neck Cancer module, and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale before treatment and 6 and 12 months later.

Results

There was a significant but temporary deterioration of physical functioning, fatigue and most head and neck symptoms. Speech was the only symptom which improved. Patients with T2 tumors had significantly worse physical symptoms compared with patients with T1 tumors. There was a high level of depressive symptomatology at baseline, followed by an improvement after treatment.

Conclusions

After radiotherapy for laryngeal cancer, a temporary deterioration of physical functioning and symptoms occurs, mostly caused by side effects of treatment. Despite physical deterioration, there is an improvement of emotional functioning and mood after treatment, probably as a result of psychological adaptation and coping processes. © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Head Neck 21: 291–296, 1999.