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Cervicofacial Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer: Patient-Reported Quality of Life

By: Lauren Harrison, MS
Posted: Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Patients with non-melanoma skin cancer typically experience improvement in quality-of-life questionnaire scores after treatment of their disease. Factors such as sex, educational background, marital status, history of anxiety/depression, tumor type, and treatment type all appear to play a role in the degree of benefit in terms of quality of life. Magdalena de Troya Martín, MD, of the Hospital Costa del Sol, Málaga, Spain, and colleagues published these findings in Supportive Care in Cancer.

“If we can identify patients in whom a poorer degree of improvement in quality of life is to be expected, this will enable medical teams to offer psychosocial support in an efficient, individualized way…,” concluded the authors.

This cross-sectional study surveyed 220 patients with biopsy-confirmed cervicofacial non-melanoma skin cancer from the Costa del Sol University Hospital in southern Spain. Patients were asked to complete the Skin Cancer Index Questionnaire at four distinct time points: at diagnosis, followed by 1 week, 1 month, and 6 months after diagnosis. Questionnaire scores ranged from 0 to 100, with a score of 100 representing no impact of disease on quality of life. A clinical interview was also conducted at each time point to obtain information regarding demographics, comorbidities, and sun-exposure habits.

Most patients (86.4%) were treated with surgery. Among all patients, the mean difference in quality-of-life scores increased about 7 points between baseline and 6 months after diagnosis. Female patients had an 8.3-point increase in quality of life, whereas male patients had a 5.5-point improvement. Patients who were widowed had a 10.3-point increase in quality of life, compared with 7.3-point increase in married patients and a 4-point increase in single patients. Those with a history of anxiety and depression had a 10.6-point increase in quality of life after treatment. Patients treated with surgery had a 6-point bump in quality of life, whereas patients who were treated without surgery had a 12.4-point increase.

Disclosure: The authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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