Introduction: Cancers affecting the parts of head and neck hugely impact the patients. Among Head and Neck Cancer (HNC) patients, the visible signs and symptoms of the disease or the side effects of treatment modalities can cause various degrees of functional impairment such as mastication, swallowing and communication or disfigurement. Aim: To study the relationship between self-image and quality of life among head and neck cancer patients. Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive cross sectional survey conducted among 54 head and neck cancer patients. Data were collected through self-administered demographic proforma, disease related proforma, self-image scale and Functional Assessment of Head and Neck Cancer (FACT; H&N). Association between self-image and demographic and disease related variables were assessed by computing Chi-square. Kruskal Wallis was computed to find the association between quality of life and demographic and disease related variables. Results: Majority of patients i.e., 36 out of 54 (66.7 %) were above 50 years, 43 (79.6%) were men, 47 (87%) were married, 46 (85.18%) had the disease duration of less than six months, 43 (79.6%) were receiving both radiation therapy and chemotherapy as a mode of treatment, 49 (90.7%) of them did not have any co-morbidity, 16 (29.6%) had a mode of feeding other than oral (ryles tube and PEG feeding) and six (11.1%) had undergone tracheostomy. There was a significant association between self-image and monthly income, treatment modality and radiotherapy dose with p =0.013, 0.006 and 0.046 respectively. Kruskal Wallis test value for mode of feeding (4.881) was also statistically significant (0.027) with quality of life. There is positive correlation (r=0.613, p=0.001) between self-image and quality of life of head and neck cancer patients. Conclusion: HNC patients suffer with the disease 24 hours a day. Self-image and quality of life of these patients is interrelated. As the self-image improves, the quality of life will be better and vice versa.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry