Health-related quality of life in oropharyngeal cancer survivors -A population-based study

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Thomas Guenzel - , University of Greifswald (Author)
  • Ute Walliczek-Dworschak - , University of Greifswald (Author)
  • Afshin Teymoortash - , University of Greifswald (Author)
  • Susanne Singer - , University of Greifswald (Author)
  • Martin Eichler - , Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Cancer Centre (Author)
  • Thomas Wilhelm - , University of Greifswald (Author)
  • Mike Schimmer - , University of Greifswald (Author)
  • Achim Franzen - , University of Greifswald (Author)


Objective: The aim of this study was to compare QoL of oropharyngeal cancer survivors who had received different treatments. Subjects and methods: We contacted 954 survivors. Each survivor received the QoL questionnaires EORTC QLQ-C30 and EORTC QLQ-H&N35. Results: A total of 263 survivors completed the questionnaires (28% responses). Forty-five of them had undergone surgery, 20 had received definitive radiotherapy or chemo-radiotherapy, 85 surgery plus adjuvant radiotherapy, and 111 surgery plus adjuvant chemo-radiotherapy. Survivors who had received adjuvant radiotherapy and surgery reported significantly more problems with swallowing (B=13.43 [95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.83- 25.03]), senses (B=24,91 [CI 11.86-37.97]), eating (B=16.91 [CI 3.46-30.36]), dry mouth (B=26.42 [CI 12.17-40.67]), sticky saliva (B=22.37 [CI 6.23-38.50]) and nutritional supplements (B=18.59 [CI 0.62-36.56]) than those who had received surgery only. Survivors who had received adjuvant chemo-radiotherapy and surgery reported significantly many more problems with dry mouth (B=34.15 [CI 18.91-49.39]) and sticky saliva (B=22.90 [CI 5.65-40.16]), and fewer problems with physical functioning (B=-12.07 [CI 0.49-23-64]). Conclusion: Survivors who participated in this survey and who had undergone surgery alone reported in some head-And neck-specific domains a better health-related quality of life than patients who had undergone multi-modal treatment or adjuvant radiotherapy.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-33
Number of pages6
JournalOtolaryngologia Polska
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018

External IDs

PubMed 29748448
ORCID /0000-0001-9654-2207/work/142254164


Sustainable Development Goals

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Cancer, Eortc, Head and neck, Oropharynx, Quality of life, Tongue, Tonsil