Quality of Life During Treatment for Cervicofacial Non-melanoma Skin Cancer

Abstract

Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC), despite its low mortality, can impose a significant psychological burden on patients. The aim of the present study is to examine the evolution of the quality of life (QOL) in patients with cervicofacial NMSC during treatment. This prospective cohort study was conducted to a group of patients with cervicofacial NMSC, confirmed by skin biopsy. These patients completed the Skin Cancer Index questionnaire at the time of diagnosis and at 1 week, 1 month and 6 months after treatment began. Data for these patients’ demographic characteristics and variables related to the type of tumour, the treatment received and the evolution of the condition were recorded. The study group was composed of 220 patients. At the time of diagnosis, the overall mean score for QOL was 54.1 (SD 21.9); for the social appearance component, it was 76.7 (SD 26.2), and for the emotional component, it was 23 (SD 25.1). Six months after treatment began, the overall mean score was 61 (SD19.1), that for social appearance, 85 (SD 20.6), and that for the emotional component, 27.4 (SD 26.6). All the differences were statistically significant (p < 0.05). The results obtained show that during the treatment period, it is at the time of diagnosis when patients with cervicofacial NMSC undergo the greatest deterioration in their QOL. In comparison with the findings obtained in previous studies, our population obtained lower overall scores in the questionnaires and less improvement during follow-up.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the research team at the Costa del Sol Hospital for their support.

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Correspondence to Pablo García-Montero.

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Ethical Issues

The study was approved by the Costa del Sol Hospital Research Ethics Committee in September 2015 (IRB 011_Sep_PI_CANCER CUTANEO NO MELANOMA CALIDAD DE VIDA). All completed questionnaires were recorded anonymously, in strict accordance with the data protection legislation in force at the time of the study.

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García-Montero, P., de Gálvez-Aranda, M.V., Blázquez-Sánchez, N. et al. Quality of Life During Treatment for Cervicofacial Non-melanoma Skin Cancer. J Canc Educ (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13187-020-01781-7

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Keywords

  • Skin neoplasms
  • Quality of life
  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Skin Cancer Index
  • Questionnaire