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What is the impact of advanced melanoma on quality of life?
What is the impact of advanced melanoma on quality of life? Locally advanced cutaneous melanoma has marked quality of life implications. A recent study sought to address the impact on patients of advanced cutaneous melanoma by understanding and describing the patient experience of symptom management.
In the study, adults with cutaneous melanoma were recruited from two cancer centres in the USA and one in Australia. Telephone interviews were conducted to assess how locoregionally advanced cutaneous melanoma impacted everyday life.
In total, 22 melanoma patients were interviewed with an average age of 69.7 years (ranging from 52 to 83 years). Sixty-four per cent of patients were male. The study included stage IIIB (36 per cent), stage IIIC (59 per cent), and stage IV M1a (five per cent) patients.
Emotional health and self-perception issues were the most commonly identified concerns, as indicated by 41 per cent of patients. This included feelings of worry, concern, embarrassment, self-consciousness, fear, and thoughts of death.
Limitations of lifestyle and activities were also identified (among 28 per cent of patients) including leisure and social activities, physical functioning, general functioning, and personal care.
Twenty per cent of respondents adopted coping strategies such as modified clothing choices, increased use of pain and/or anti-inflammatory medications, and avoidance/protection from the sun.
Ratings of the degree of difficulty patients experienced (using an 11-point numerical rating scale) ranged from 0 to 10, with an average rating of 5.7.
Overall, condition-related and treatment-related factors were well characterised in patients with locally advanced cutaneous melanoma. This provides a strong foundation for assessment of how cutaneous melanoma impacts quality of life.
Weitman ES, Perez M, Thompson JF, et al. Quality of life patient-reported outcomes for locally advanced cutaneous melanoma. Melanoma Research. 2018;28(2):134-142. doi:10.1097/CMR.0000000000000425.