Article

Quality of Life Research

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 481-488

First online:

Radiation related morbidities and their impact on quality of life in head and neck cancer patients receiving radical radiotherapy

  • M. BansalAffiliated withDepartment of Radiation Oncology, Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital (IRCH), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)
  • , B.K. MohantiAffiliated withDepartment of Radiation Oncology, Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital (IRCH), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)
  • , N. Shah
  • , R. ChaudhryAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, IRCH, AIIMS
  • , S. BahadurAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, IRCH, AIIMS
  • , N.K. ShuklaAffiliated withDepartment of Surgical Oncology, IRCH, AIIMS

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Abstract

Although 50–70% of head and neck cancer patients in India receive radiotherapy (RT), radiation-related acute and late morbidities and their impact on quality of life (QOL) are infrequently reported. Acute and late radiation morbidities and QOL were assessed in a prospective longitudinal study of 45 patients with head and neck cancers receiving radical RT to a dose of 7000 cGy in conventional fractionation. Grade II acute morbidities experienced by the largest percent of the sample during the course of RT pertained to the mucosa (66.4%), salivary gland (84%), and oesophagus (53%). These morbidities led to an increase in the symptom scores of appetite loss (76.46), fatigue (65.75) and pain (44.77). This increase in the symptom scores consequently led to a significant decline in physical, social and emotional functioning as well as global health status score during the course of RT (p < 0.001). Scores improved after 1 month of RT but did not reach the pre-RT value. Future studies may consider correlating QOL assessment to significant patient and disease related parameters such as performance status, weight loss, stage and site of disease.

Head and neck cancers Quality of life Radiation morbidities