Socioeconomic factors and comorbidity are important predictors of quality of life (QOL) in survivors of head and neck cancer, a new study published online ahead of print in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer has shown.1

For the study, researchers sought to evaluate quality of life in head and neck cancer survivors and identify factors that predict poor quality of life during the first 5 years after the end of cancer treatment.

Researchers surveyed head and neck survivors in 3 Scottish health regions. Of those, 280 patents returned the questionnaire. Results showed that younger age, lower socioeconomic status, unemployment, and self-reported comorbidity were independently associated with poorer overall and cancer-specific quality of life.


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Researchers also found that having a feeding tube or a diagnosis of oral cavity cancer specifically were independently predictive of poorer cancer-specific quality of life.

The investigators note that the impact of socioeconomic factors and comorbidity and the negative long-term effect of feeding tubers in these cancer survivors require further research.

REFERENCE

1. Wells M, Swartzman S, Lang H, et al. Predictors of quality of life in head and neck cancer survivors up to 5 years after end of treatment: a cross-sectional survey [published online ahead of print December 11, 2015]. Support Care Cancer. doi:10.1007/s00520-015-3045-6.