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Impact of Non‐Melanoma Skin Cancers on Patients’ Quality of Life

By: Hillary Ojeda
Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Non-melanoma skin cancer and actinic keratosis may have an adverse impact on patients’ quality of life, according to a study conducted by Philipp-Dormston et al, Hautzentrum Köln (Cologne Dermatology), Germany, and colleagues. Published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, the study was based on patient-reported health outcomes, which indicated these skin cancers should be “diligently treated to preserve and restore quality of life.”

Researchers carried out a prospective, cross-sectional, German-wide multicenter study, recruiting 1,184 patients between October 2015 and February 2016. The patients, who had non-squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and/or actinic keratosis, were treated at 29 local medical centers. More than three-quarters had actinic keratosis, and about half had basal cell carcinoma.

Questionnaires asked patients to rate aspects such as mobility and self-care on a range from “no problem” to “extreme problems.” The questionnaires also included a visual analog scale categorizing current health on a scale from 0 being the worst to 100 being the best. Clinicians supplemented the data with information on diagnosis, treatments, and number of lesions.

The investigators found that quality of life was strongly linked with the diagnosis of patients. Those diagnosed with actinic keratosis alone had a significantly higher mean (n = 78) on the EuroQol visual analog score (EQ-VAS) compared with patients with basal cell carcinoma (n = 74), squamous cell carcinoma (n = 72), and basal cell plus squamous cell carcinoma (n = 69; P < .050). Additionally, after the effects of disease progression were calculated, patients with actinic keratosis plus squamous cell carcinoma had a significantly lower mean on the EQ-VAS (n = 71) than patients with actinic keratosis alone (n = 78; P < .011). 



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