Factors related to the evolution of quality of life in patients with cervicofacial non-melanoma skin cancer

Abstract

Purpose

Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is the most frequent neoplasm today, worldwide. This type of tumour presents low mortality but causes a major psychosocial impact on the patient. Studies have shown that the patient’s quality of life (as detected by questionnaire scores in this respect) improves as the care process advances. The main aim of the present study is to identify the factors that are related to this favourable evolution.

Methods

This descriptive cross-sectional study included patients with cervicofacial NMSC, confirmed by skin biopsy. The patients were asked to complete the Skin Cancer Index questionnaire at the time of diagnosis and subsequently at 1 week, 1 month and 6 months after treatment. Relevant demographic variables were recorded, together with information on health status and the treatment received.

Results

A total of 229 patients with biopsy-confirmed cervicofacial NMSC were included in the study population, and 220 completed the quality of life questionnaires at the necessary time points during the care process. Some variables—sex, education, marital status, history of anxiety or depression, tumour type, the treatment received and the VAS score in this respect—were found to have a statistically significant influence on the degree of improvement recorded in the quality of life questionnaire scores during follow-up.

Conclusions

The quality of life questionnaire scores of patients with cervicofacial NMSC improve following treatment, but this progression is not homogeneous among patients. We identify the variables that are related to a greater degree of improvement on the questionnaire scales (overall, emotional and social-aesthetic).

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Data and materials availability

All the data and material of the research are available.

Code availability

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Acknowledgements

We thank the research team at the Costa del Sol Hospital for their support.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

P.G.M. has contributed to the conception of the study and the acquisition of data and has written the paper.

M.V.G.A. has supervised the research and has provided critical revision of the paper.

N.B.S. has provided critical revision of the paper.

F.R.R. has contributed to the analysis and interpretation of the data.

J.F.M.C. has contributed to the conception and design of the study.

C.G.H. has contributed to the acquisition of data.

M.T.M. has contributed to the design of the study, has co-written the paper and has provided final approval of the version to publish.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Pablo García-Montero.

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval

The study was approved by the Costa del Sol Hospital Research Ethics Committee in September 2015 (IRB 011_Sep_PI_CANCER CUTANEO NO MELANOMA CALIDAD DE VIDA).

Consent to participate

All patients were aged at least 18 years, had sufficient proficiency in written and spoken Spanish and gave signed informed consent to participate. All were physically and intellectually capable of completing the study questionnaires and were residents in the study area.

Consent for publication

All authors consent to the publication of the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

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García-Montero, P., de Gálvez-Aranda, M.V., Blázquez-Sánchez, N. et al. Factors related to the evolution of quality of life in patients with cervicofacial non-melanoma skin cancer. Support Care Cancer (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-021-06087-y

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Keywords

  • Skin cancer
  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Quality of life
  • Skin Cancer Index