The number of new cases of differentiated thyroid cancer, the most common endocrine cancer, has been increasing over the past several years. A diagnosis of cancer has many significant implications to patients, including concerns about death and the need for strong chemotherapy drugs that cause one to lose their hair. While thyroid cancer patients usually need to undergo surgery, the majority of patients do well and have an excellent prognosis. The risk of death due to differentiated thyroid cancer is very low and very few patients require strong chemotherapy drugs. Despite this, previous studies have shown that thyroid cancer patients have decreased health-related quality of life (HRQoL) compared to the general population, and surprisingly similar to that of patients with more aggressive cancers. This study evaluated changes in HRQoL over time and the factors at diagnosis that may predict HRQoL at one-year follow up.
THE FULL ARTICLE TITLE:
Hedman C et al. Fear of Recurrence and View of Life Affect Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients with Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma: A Prospective Swedish Population-Based Study. Thyroid. 2018 Oct 26;28(12):1609-1617.
SUMMARY OF THE STUDY
The study authors surveyed 487 Swedish patients diagnosed with differentiated thyroid cancer between 2012 and 2017. Information collected included patient characteristics, concurrent diseases, fear of the cancer coming back and view of life. Survey questions were included to assess HRQoL. Additionally, cancer characteristics, treatments and lab results were obtained from the patients’ medical records.