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S. Frenkel, H. Rosenne, K. Hendler, R. Baruch, J. Pe’er; Quality of Life of Uveal Melanoma Survivors. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):4480. doi: https://doi.org/.
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Uveal melanoma (UM) patients need life-long follow-up since metastases can occur even more than 15 years after diagnosis. Little is known about the quality of life (QOL) of UM survivors for such a long period. The purpose of this study is to describe the QOL of UM survivors as a factor of age, diagnosis, time since diagnosis, primary treatment, overall best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), and BCVA in the melanoma eye.
A cohort of 294 patients who were treated for UM was asked to fill a questionnaire comprised of the EORTC QLQ-C30 and EORTC QLQ-OPT30 modules. The questionnaire was completed during a regular clinic visit. Answers ranged from 1 (completely unaffected) to 4 (severely affected). An open question requested a description of other changes in the patient's life since diagnosis. Independent demographic and medical variables were collected from medical records.
From January through August 2007, 232 of 294 patients agreed to complete the questionnaire. The mean score for general QOL and eye-related QOL were high: 1.5 ± 0.52 and 1.67 ± 0.52 (mean ± SD) respectively. General QOL was highly correlated to eye-related QOL (F=207.26, p<0.0001) in an almost 1:1 relationship. Older age, a tumor not involving the ciliary body, and better BCVA were associated with statistically significant higher QOL. A subgroup of 39% of the patients reported severely affected eye-related tasks. Thirty-three percent were highly concerned about different aspects of their future health (e.g. recurrence or metastases). Patients after local resection or enucleation reported slightly higher eye-related QOL, although in response to the open question described problems related to body image.
General QOL of UM patients is slightly affected by their malignancy. As eye-related QOL decreases, so does general QOL. Body image and psycho-social adjustment should be considered in evaluating QOL. The subgroup of patients who do suffer from their eyes is in need of psycho-social intervention not only after diagnosis but also on a continuing basis. All patients need information about physical and psycho-social implications of treatment in the short and long term.
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