Melanie Goldfarb, MD, MSc, FACS, FACE, Center for Endocrine Tumors, Providence Saint John's Cancer Institute, discusses the importance of long-term survivorship care and its correlation with quality-of-life in patients with thyroid cancer.
Quality-of-life is a big word that has a lot of meaning for patients with cancer. Quality-of-life is a specific and multidimensional type of patient-reported outcomes, and measuring one's quality-of-life includes evaluating the emotional, psychosocial, and physical aspects of a patient.
According to Goldfarb, if a patient with thyroid cancer is surviving, they could still have negative aspects going on around them. As a result, it is important that these things, whether they be physical or emotional, be addressed and dealt with by experts in order to ensure a patient is getting the best care and has the best outcomes.
0:08 | Quality-of-life is a big and all-encompassing word. There are emotional, psychosocial, and physical things that have to do with it. There are general measures of quality-of-life that one fills out with some questions and that talk about it, and then there are also some thyroid-specific quality-of-life measurement tools which can be used. There are some differences based on age of patients, based on extensive surgery, based on if they get radioactive iodine, and so on and so forth. But across the board, at least in the direct aftermath of getting care, there usually is a dip in quality-of-life.
0:59 | For many people, that bounces back up to normal after a period of time or about a year, but some of that has to do with, did they have any complications from surgery or are they worrying about other things? All of that comes into it. Quality-of-life is a big word. In general, it is more appropriate to talk about the specifics of it, but we use it as an all-encompassing word.