Health-related quality of life in patients with pharyngeal carcinoma: a five-year follow-up

Head Neck. 2006 Apr;28(4):339-49. doi: 10.1002/hed.20334.


Purpose: The purpose was to evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQL) of patients with pharyngeal carcinoma at diagnosis and after 1 and 5 years in relation to tumor location and treatment modality in a prospective multicenter study.

Methods: Eighty-nine patients with pharyngeal carcinoma (mean age, 60.0 years; 76% men) were evaluated using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30) and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Head and Neck Cancer Module (EORTC QLQ-H&N35).

Results: Problems with dry mouth and teeth became worse between diagnosis and the 5-year follow-up. Problems with thick secretions and teeth increased between 1 and 5 years. The HRQL at diagnosis was associated with survival. Patients with oropharyngeal carcinoma reported better HRQL than patients with hypopharyngeal carcinoma.

Conclusions: For patients with pharyngeal carcinoma, the HRQL at diagnosis seems to be an important factor for the prognosis of both HRQL over time and survival. Treatment of pharyngeal carcinoma often results in long-term side effects such as dry mouth, problems with teeth, and thick secretions.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma / complications*
  • Carcinoma / mortality
  • Carcinoma / psychology*
  • Carcinoma / therapy
  • Cough / etiology
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / complications*
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Saliva
  • Speech Disorders / etiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden
  • Tooth Diseases / etiology
  • Xerostomia / etiology