Document Detail

Patients perceive tonsil cancer as a strike at psycho-socially "vital organs".
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22951199     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
INTRODUCTION: Tonsil cancer (TC) is a type of head and neck cancer (HNC) that is predominantly associated with infection with human papilloma virus (HPV). In Denmark, the incidence of HPV-related HNC has increased fivefold over the past three decades. HNC more often affects men than women, and HPV-related HNC tends to affect younger age groups than other HNCs. The present study examined the long-term health-related quality of life (QoL) in patients with TC.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A medical anthropological approach was applied using individual qualitative interviews with seven former TC patients. The participants included men and women who had undergone various treatments, i.e. radiation therapy, chemotherapy and operation. Data were analyzed using a narrative methodology.
RESULTS: Treatment sequelae peaked within the first three months and included severe pain in the radiated area, nausea and fatigue. Within this period, patients were unable to eat solid food and often had difficulty speaking. Half of the participants lost some of their hearing due to radiation. Even two years after treatment, most participants had persisting sequelae, mainly xerostomia, porous teeth and reduced mobility of the tongue and jaw. Fatigue and difficulties eating and communicating, in particular, had a very negative effect on the participants' psycho-social QoL.
CONCLUSION: This study allowed for a deeper understanding of the negative effects of HNC on patients' QoL. These QoL effects ought to be included in future considerations of HPV vaccination of boys as well as girls.
FUNDING: The study was funded by an unrestricted research grant from Sanofi Pasteur MSD.
Gitte Lee Mortensen; Peter Bertram Paaske
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Danish medical journal     Volume:  59     ISSN:  2245-1919     ISO Abbreviation:  Dan Med J     Publication Date:  2012 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-09-06     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101576205     Medline TA:  Dan Med J     Country:  Denmark    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  A4504     Citation Subset:  IM    
AnthroConsult, Fynsgade 24, 2. th., 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.
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