Almeida et al evaluated patients with differentiated thyroid carcinomas for factors affecting the quality of life (QOL). They identified patients who may benefit from more aggressive followup care. The authors are from Hospital A.C. Camargo in Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Risk factors affecting the patient's quality of life:

(1) age > 45 years

(2) modified radical neck dissection

(3) therapy with > 150 milliCuries of radioactive iodine

(4) damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve

(5) significant comorbid conditions


Problems which may affect the patient's quality of life:

(1) pain in the neck

(2) difficulty swallowing

(3) problems chewing

(4) problems with speech

(5) loss or change in taste

(6) problems managing saliva

(7) shoulder discomfort or pain

(8) anxiety

(9) concern about appearance

(10) social activities

(11) recreational activities

(12) xerostomia and/or sialadenitis


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