Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Quality Of Life Predicts Cancer Survival, Study Finds

Date:
May 31, 2008
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Head and neck cancer patients who reported lower physical quality of life were more likely to die from their disease, according to a new study. The findings could mean that identifying patients with poor quality of life could also identify patients with particularly aggressive tumors.

Head and neck cancer patients who reported lower physical quality of life were more likely to die from their disease, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. The findings could mean that identifying patients with poor quality of life could also identify patients with particularly aggressive tumors.

Related Articles


"Low quality of life may have value in screening patients for recurrence. By identifying patients with poor quality of life, we may also be able to identify early on those who have particularly aggressive tumors," says lead study author Carrie A. Karvonen-Gutierrez, M.P.H., research associate at the U-M School of Public Health and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.

The researchers surveyed 495 people at four hospitals who had been diagnosed with head and neck cancer within the previous two years. Participants responded to questions about physical and emotional quality of life, including pain, eating and swallowing, speech and emotional well-being.

The researchers found that general physical health and quality of life issues were highly associated with survival. And in particular, patients who reported difficulty with pain, eating and speech were significantly less likely to survive. The researchers suggest that pain and declines in other physical quality of life measures could be a marker for cancer recurrence.

"Our findings validate the concept that doctors have long recognized: that persistent or increasing pain is a worrisome clinical finding. Perhaps in the future, quality of life data will be routinely collected in a standardized way, and trends in pain scores will trigger more aggressive examinations for cancer recurrence," says study author Sonia A. Duffy, Ph.D., R.N., a research scientist at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, associate professor of nursing at the U-M School of Nursing and research assistant professor of otolaryngology at the U-M Medical School.

"While patients are monitored and screened after cancer treatment, small recurrences of cancer may be difficult to detect, even with standard imaging techniques. But, for example, small islands of cancer near a nerve can cause substantial pain before the cancer is detected on routine examination or imaging scans," says study author Jeffrey Terrell, M.D., associate professor of otolaryngology at the U-M Medical School.

The next question for the researchers is to understand whether treatments that improve quality of life can improve survival.

"Although it is not yet clear how the association works between survival and quality of life related to head and neck pain, it is clearly advantageous to minimize pain for patients. And, if in doing that, the chance of cancer recurrence or patient survival is improved, the effort is worthwhile, regardless of why these factors are related. Patients want improved quality of life after cancer treatment--whether it be to improve survival or simply to improve everyday living and feel better," Duffy says.

Based on their findings, the study authors recommend routine quality of life assessments of patients with head and neck cancer, before treatment and again after six months, one year and two years.

Additional study authors were David L. Ronis, Ph.D., associate research scientist at the U-M School of Nursing and research scientist at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System; Karen E. Fowler, research associate at the U-M Medical School and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System; and Stephen B. Gruber, M.D., Ph.D., H. Marvin Pollard Professor of Internal Medicine at the U-M Medical School.

Funding for the study was from the Department of Veterans Affairs, GlaxoSmithKline through the Managed Care Forum, and the National Cancer Institute.

Reference: Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol. 26, No. 16, June 1, 2008


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Quality Of Life Predicts Cancer Survival, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080529170512.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2008, May 31). Quality Of Life Predicts Cancer Survival, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080529170512.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Quality Of Life Predicts Cancer Survival, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080529170512.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins