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Quality of life for head and neck cancer patients treated by combined modality therapy: the therapeutic benefit of technological advances in radiotherapy

Tai-Lin Huang, Wen-Ling Tsai, Chih-Yen Chien, Tsair-Fwu Lee and Fu-Min Fang
Quality of Life Research
Vol. 19, No. 9 (November 2010), pp. 1243-1254
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40927171
Page Count: 12
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Quality of life for head and neck cancer patients treated by combined modality therapy: the therapeutic benefit of technological advances in radiotherapy
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Abstract

Purpose To evaluate quality of life (QoL) in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) treated by combined modality therapy, with a focus on the therapeutic benefits of QoL that result from technological advances in radiotherapy (RT). Methods A cross-sectional survey of QoL using the EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-H&N35 questionnaires was performed for 307 HNSCC survivors. One hundred and thirty-five patients were treated by two-dimensional RT (2DRT), 90 by three-dimensional conformal RT (3DCRT), and 82 by intensity-modulated RT (IMRT). The effect size between groups was calculated using Cohen's D coefficient. Results Those who had a higher annual family income or were treated by more advanced RT techniques had better QoL outcomes. Compared with 2DRT, the impact of 3DCRT was small (Cohen's D: 0.02-0.40) on all QoL scales. For IMRT, the impact was small on most scales and moderate (Cohen's D: 0.55-0.60) on opening mouth, dry mouth, and sticky saliva. Compared with 3DCRT, the impact of IMRT was small (Cohen's D: 0.03-0.29) on all scales. Conclusion Advances in RT provided a positive effect on QoL outcome, especially on swallowing-related QoL scales, for patients with HNSCC treated by combined modality therapy.

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