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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2000 Jul 1;47(4):875-81.

Quality of life and utility in irradiated laryngeal cancer patients.

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Princess Margaret Hospital/University Health Network-University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



To determine quality of life (QOL) and health utility in irradiated laryngeal cancer survivors.


Over 6 months, consecutive follow-up patients at a comprehensive cancer centre completed the QOL questionnaire FACT-H&N and the time trade-off (TTO) utility instrument.


Inclusion criteria were met by 339 patients, of whom 269 were eligible, 245 were approached, and 120 agreed to participate. Most participants were men (83%) who had received radiotherapy (97%) for Stage I disease (53%) of the glottis (75%); 7% had undergone total laryngectomy. Participants differed from nonparticipants only in being younger (mean age, 65 vs. 68 years, p = 0.0049) and having higher performance status (Karnofsky 88 vs. 84, p = 0.0012). The average scores for FACT-H&N and the TTO were 124/144 (SD, 14) and 0.90/1.0 (SD, 0.16) respectively. FACT-H&N score was more highly correlated with Karnofsky score (r = 0.43, p = 0.001) than with the TTO (r = 0.29, p = 0.002). Gender predicted QOL (means: M = 125, F = 118), while natural speech, no relapses, and more time since initial treatment predicted higher utility.


The QOL of irradiated laryngeal cancer survivors was reasonably high and independent of initial disease variables. The QOL questionnaire correlated more strongly with performance status than with utility, suggesting that QOL and utility measures may be perceived differently by patients.

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