Quality of life affected by Treatment Choice of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the HNC Area
For SCC, the survival rate has improved dramatically in the past two decades due to development of specialized surgical techniques including chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Even techniques such as microsurgical reconstruction allowed an increasing number of salvage cases to be performed, its effect on the patient's QoL was controversial.
A new article in the latest issue of Plastic and Aesthetic Research examined a series of 45 studies that rate the patient's perspective on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) following various treatment modalities that has suggested that the subsequent impact on QoL can be a useful tool in individualizing treatment for selected patients.
Several studies have been described in the article in which QoL is assessed based on an questionnaire. The evaluated studies generally demonstrated that the sensation of taste is frequently affected by chemoradiotherapy, while xerostomia and dental problems tend to occur following radiation therapy alone. Both of those treated with surgery and radiotherapy alone note post-treatment difficulty with chewing and taste; however new techniques such as transoral robotic surgery have shown better preservation of QoL while achieving the same long-term results.
However, what the article concludes is that the current data available does not individualize patients’ treatment, but further studies are essential to identify how the QoL can modify the treatment choices.