The goal of this study was to evaluate the somatic and psychological effects by means of QUALITY OF LIFE (QOL) of surgical treatment of patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma. The factors gender, age, nicotine consumption, and tumour stage were taken into consideration.
54 patients after surgical resection of oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) were analysed from 01.09.2005 to 31.05.2008. Inclusion criteria for the study were: age at least 18 years, no indication or treatment of synchronous and metachronous tumours.
German translations of the EORTC H&N-35 and EORTC QLQ-C-30 questionnaires, as well as a general socioeconomic patient history were used as measuring instruments. The questionnaires were completed independently by the patients. The answers were translated into scale values for statistical evaluation using appropriate algorithms.
Analysis of the EORTC-QLQ-C-30 questionnaires demonstrated a tendency of more negative assessment of emotional function among the female participants, and a more negative evaluation of social function among the male participants. Greater tumour sizes showed significantly lower bodily function (p = 0.018). While a smaller tumour size was significantly associated with lower cognitive functioning (p = 0.031). Other cofactors such as age, nicotine consumption, and tumour stage only showed a tendency to influence the quality of sleep and daily life.
The data obtained within this investigation demonstrated that gender had the most significant power on the subjectively perceived postoperative quality of life. This factor is important e.g. in preoperative decision making regarding immediate microvascular reconstruction after e.g. mandibular resection and therefore QOL assessment should become integral component of the care of patients with OSCC.