Purpose: Little is known about specific concerns facing long-term melanoma survivors. The goal of this study was to compare quality of life (QOL) and mental health between long-term melanoma survivors and population controls.
Methods: Participants from a previously conducted case-control study of risk factors for melanoma were recruited for a cross-sectional survey. Generic QOL and emotional health were measured using the SF-36 and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale questionnaires. A total of 724 melanoma survivors and 660 controls participated. Most melanoma survivors had stage I disease (85.6%); mean time from diagnosis was 9.6 ± 1.0 years. Comparisons of QOL measures between melanoma survivors and controls were conducted using regression models, adjusting for potential confounders.
Results: Melanoma survivors, compared to controls, reported statistically significant but only slightly higher physical functioning and bodily pain QOL subscale scores than controls and otherwise similar QOL as measured by the remaining six SF-36 subscale scores. Prevalence of anxiety (18.1% vs. 19.3%, adjusted OR = 1.00 (0.74, 1.36); p = 1.00) and depression (7.2% vs. 9.8%, adjusted OR = 0.74 (0.48, 1.16); p = 1.00) were similar between melanoma survivors and controls.
Conclusion: Long-term early stage melanoma survivors report similar general QOL and mental health compared to population controls. Further research is needed to identify concerns more specific to melanoma.
Keywords: Cancer survivorship; Melanoma; Quality of life; SF-36.