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J Laryngol Otol. 2013 Jul;127 Suppl 2:S39-47. doi: 10.1017/S0022215113000303. Epub 2013 Mar 5.

Quality of life assessment in patients treated for metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

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Head and Neck Cancer Service, Westmead Hospital, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.



Treatment for metastatic cutaneous head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is usually multimodal and associated with morbidity. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of treatment on patients' quality of life.


Cross-sectional survey of 42 patients (35 men, 7 women) at least 6 months after metastatic cutaneous head and neck squamous cell carcinoma treatment, using two standardised quality of life questionnaires: the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - Head and Neck questionnaire and the Facial Disability Index, with statistical analysis to identify potential predictors of outcome.


Female gender correlated with significantly lower Facial Disability Index physical function scores (p = 0.017). Alcohol consumption correlated with significantly better scores for Functional Assessment social well-being (p = 0.016), general total score (p = 0.041) and overall total score (p = 0.033), and for Facial Disability Index physical function (p = 0.034). Marital status, education, employment, chemotherapy, time from last treatment, parotidectomy and facial nerve sacrifice did not affect quality of life. The commonest patient complaints were dry mouth (76 per cent), altered voice quality and strength (55 per cent), and physical appearance (45 per cent).


Female gender predicts worse quality of life, while alcohol consumption (versus none) predicted for better quality of life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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