Head and neck cancer survivorship from the patient perspective

Head and Neck Cancer

Pagedar NA, et al. Head Neck 2020.


BACKGROUND: Survivorship is a critical part of head and neck cancer (HNC) care. In order to design better processes, we assessed care provided to long-term HNC survivors and their priorities for ongoing care.

METHODS: A survey was provided to HNC survivors at clinic appointments, including our HNC survivorship clinic. Questions focused on priorities for care in the otolaryngology clinic, types of care provided, and opioid use.

RESULTS: Of 168 respondents, the most common priority for survivors was surveillance for recurrence (first priority in 75%), with general health the next most common (8%). Few respondents reported active primary care involvement in survivorship. About 10% of patients reported current opioid use.

CONCLUSION: Survivors face a large burden of symptoms and deficits, but our data show that most survivors focus on recurrence. Few survivors reported recall of survivorship care plan delivery or discussing cancer care needs with primary care providers.