- Pretreatment organ function in patients with advances head and neck cancer: clinical outcome measures and patients' views
- BMC Ear Nose Throat Disorders
- Volume | Issue number
- 9 | 10
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
Aim of this study is to thoroughly assess pretreatment organ function in advanced head and neck cancer through various clinical outcome measures and patients' views.
A comprehensive, multidimensional assessment was used, that included quality of life, swallowing, mouth opening, and weight changes. Fifty-five patients with stage III-IV disease were entered in this study prior to organ preserving (chemoradiation) treatment.
All patients showed pretreatment abnormalities or problems, identified by one or more of the outcome measures. Most frequent problems concerned swallowing, pain, and weight loss. Interestingly, clinical outcome measures and patients' perception did no always concur. E.g. videofluoroscopy identified aspiration and laryngeal penetration in 18% of the patients, whereas only 7 patients (13%) perceived this as problematic; only 2 out of 7 patients with objective trismus actually perceived trismus.
The assessment identified several problems already pre-treatment, in this patient population. A thorough assessment of both clinical measures and patients' views appears to be necessary to gain insight in all (perceived) pre-existing functional and quality of life problems.
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