Quality of Life After Radiation Therapy for Base of Tongue Cancer
November 01, 1996ByEhab Hanna, MD
The article by Moore provides an example of much needed research evaluating clinical outcomes in head and neck oncology. Measuring the quality of life (QOL) of patients with head and neck cancer presents some unique challenges. First, head and neck cancer profoundly influences some of the most fundamental functions of life, including breathing, eating, and communication. Second, treatment of head and neck cancer does not always improve these functional deficits, and in many instances, the treatment itself results in further deterioration of these functions. Finally, "traditional" outcome measures (disease-free survival, overall survival, local and regional control, response rates) do not adequately assess the global impact of this disease and/or its treatment on patients' perception of life satisfaction.