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Skin Cancer and Health-Related Quality of Life: Risk Factors and Patient Education

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Thursday, August 12, 2021

According to research presented in Dermatology and Therapy, there may be an association between impaired quality of life experienced by a patient with skin cancer and their age, their gender, and the location of the lesion. Michael Sand, MD, of Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, and colleagues also found that the provision of patient education brochures appeared to result in increased awareness of some skin cancer risk factors.

The pilot study included 461 German patients who had been diagnosed with actinic keratosis, non-metastatic non-melanoma skin cancer, melanoma in situ, or non-metastatic cutaneous melanoma; they received treatment between August 2018 and July 2020. Within 1 week of undergoing surgical treatment, patients completed either a Skin Cancer Quality-of-Life Index Tool (n = 324) or a Skin Cancer Index Questionnaire (n = 137). An additional patient education procedure was provided to 97 randomly selected patients.

A statistical correlation was observed between poorer health-related quality of life and patients who were young, who were female, and/or who had skin cancer on the head and face (P < .05). No statistical difference was reported between health-related quality of life and skin cancer type. Patients who received an education brochure demonstrated substantially higher awareness of direct sun exposure (P < .05).

“Physicians should consider these factors in clinical practice and advocate the use of patient education brochures as effective assets in preventing the reoccurrence of skin cancer,” concluded the authors.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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