Filipino head and neck cancer patients and their quality of life

Frederic Ivan L. Ting, Aylmer Rex B. Hernandez, Reno Eufemon P. Cereno, Irisyl B. Orolfo-Real, Corazon A. Ngelangel


Background: In the management of head and neck cancer (HNC), assessment of quality of life (QoL) is imperative because of the potentially debilitating effect of treatment toxicities. Currently, there are no published data assessing the QoL in Filipino HNC patients, thus this study.

Methods: This cross-sectional study utilized the University of the Philippines - Department of Health Quality of Life scale. Patients with head and neck cancers at the University of the Philippines - Philippine General Hospital from February to September 2019 were invited to participate.  

Results: A total of 418 patients were included in the study with a mean age of 42 years old (range 18 to 73 years old). In general, Filipino head and neck cancer patients had moderate QoL (mean score of 4.59±0.79). All of the QoL domains (physical, emotional, cognitive, and related functions) had a score of 3-5 (moderate), except for the social status domain which had a mean score of 5.51±0.83 (high). Among socio-demographic factors, patients who are employed and with additional funding sources on top of their income have better global QoL (p<0.01). Clinically, patients with higher stages of disease, fungating tumors, post-laryngectomy, have a feeding tube, with a tracheostomy, and had chemotherapy have lower global QoL (p<0.01).

Conclusions: Filipino patients with head and neck cancers have an overall moderate quality of life, with high scores in the social domain. Patients with higher tumor burdens and have been exposed to chemotherapy have lower QoL scores, while patients with financial stability and aid have better QoL scores.



Quality of life, Head and neck cancer, Filipino

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