Quality of life in head and neck cancers patients: predictive factors, functional and psychosocial outcome
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The principal endpoints in head and neck cancer are survival with improvement of quality of life (QoL) in cancer patients. Patients treated for head and neck cancer suffer from a number of symptom domains: physical symptoms linked to diet and feeding, communication disorders, pain and their general state of health; psychological symptoms including depression, irritability, loss of self-esteem (occasionally feelings of shame), and social symptoms including relationship difficulties with partner (sexual disorders) or with other family members, loss of work, reduction in salary, and sense of uselessness, resulting in a negative impact on their daily life. At present, most tools only partially evaluate patient QoL, concentrating on the global impact of disease and its treatment on patients’ physical and psychological condition. The “sociability” of individual patients is rarely evaluated, and the development of qualitative studies in this domain will enable improved understanding of the social factors involved in each patient’s adaptability to disease, its treatment and after-effects.
KeywordsQuality of life Oncology Head and neck cancer Measurement tools Sociability
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