Health Profiles and Quality of Life of 518 Survivors of Thyroid Cancer
Authors: Pamela N. Schultz, Ph.D. RN, Charles Stava, Rena Vassilopoulou-Sellin, MD
Published: Head and Neck, 25(5); 349-556, 2003.
There were 518 thyroid cancer survivors who responded to a survey regarding the medical and social impact of their cancer experience. All survivors were treated with surgery and 417 (80.5%) also had radiation therapy.
Two-thirds (64.5%) responded that cancer affected their overall health varying by gender and time from diagnosis. The most prominent problems were neurologic, musculoskeletal, and psychologic. The survivors reported more memory loss and psychologic problems than other cancer survivors and more migraine headaches than both other cancer survivors and the general population. They integrated well into society regarding family and work. Comments by 24.5% of the survivors reported a variety of symptoms reminiscent of thyroid hormone imbalance.
The study concluded that thyroid cancer survivors generally report good health over a long period of time however they describe symptoms, which are suggestive of thyroid dysfunction. Further studies are needed to understand this observation.