Risk Factors for Decreased Quality of Life in Thyroid Cancer Survivors: Initial Findings from the North American Thyroid Cancer Survivorship Study

Briseis Aschebrook-Kilfoy, Benjamin James, Sapna Nagar, Sharone Kaplan, Vanessa Seng, Habibul Ahsan, Peter Angelos, Edwin L. Kaplan, Marlon A. Guerrero, Jennifer H. Kuo, James A. Lee, Elliot J. Mitmaker, Jacob Moalem, Daniel T. Ruan, Wen T. Shen, Raymon H. Grogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The prevalence of thyroid cancer survivors is rising rapidly due to the combination of an increasing incidence, high survival rates, and a young age at diagnosis. The physical and psychosocial morbidity of thyroid cancer has not been adequately described, and this study therefore sought to improve the understanding of the impact of thyroid cancer on quality of life (QoL) by conducting a large-scale survivorship study. Methods: Thyroid cancer survivors were recruited from a multicenter collaborative network of clinics, national survivorship groups, and social media. Study participants completed a validated QoL assessment tool that measures four morbidity domains: physical, psychological, social, and spiritual effects. Data were also collected on participant demographics, medical comorbidities, tumor characteristics, and treatment modalities. Results: A total of 1174 participants with thyroid cancer were recruited. Of these, 89.9% were female, with an average age of 48 years, and a mean time from diagnosis of five years. The mean overall QoL was 5.56/10, with 0 being the worst. Scores for each of the sub-domains were 5.83 for physical, 5.03 for psychological, 6.48 for social, and 5.16 for spiritual well-being. QoL scores begin to improve five years after diagnosis. Female sex, young age at diagnosis, and lower educational attainment were highly predictive of decreased QoL. Conclusion: Thyroid cancer diagnosis and treatment can result in a decreased QoL. The present findings indicate that better tools to measure and improve thyroid cancer survivor QoL are needed. The authors plan to follow-up on these findings in the near future, as enrollment and data collection are ongoing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1313-1321
Number of pages9
JournalThyroid
Volume25
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Risk Factors for Decreased Quality of Life in Thyroid Cancer Survivors: Initial Findings from the North American Thyroid Cancer Survivorship Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this