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Quality of life of patients with lung cancer

Authors Polanski J, Jankowska-Polańska B, Rosinczuk J, Chabowski M, Szymanska-Chabowska A

Received 17 November 2015

Accepted for publication 11 January 2016

Published 29 February 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 1023—1028


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Daniele Santini

Jacek Polanski,1 Beata Jankowska-Polanska,2 Joanna Rosinczuk,3 Mariusz Chabowski,4 Anna Szymanska-Chabowska5

1Lower Silesian Oncology Center, Home Hospice, 2Department of Clinical Nursing, 3Department of Nervous System Diseases, Department of Clinical Nursing, 4Division of Nursing in Surgical Procedures, Department of Clinical Nursing, Faculty of Health Science, 5Department of Internal Medicine, Occupational Diseases and Hypertension, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland

Abstract: Lung cancer is the major cause of oncologic-related death worldwide. Due to delayed diagnosis, 5-year survival rate accounts for only 15%. Treatment includes surgery, adjuvant chemotherapy, and radiation therapy; however, it is burdened by many side effects. Progress of the disease, severity of its symptoms, and side effects decrease significantly the quality of life (QoL) in those patients. The level of self-assessed QoL helps in predicting survival, which is especially important among patients receiving palliative care. Patients assess their functioning in five dimensions (physical, psychological, cognitive, social, and life roles), severity of symptoms, financial problems, and overall QoL. The QoL in lung cancer patients is lower than in healthy population and patients suffering from other malignancies. It is affected by the severity and the number of symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, dyspnea, cough, pain, and blood in sputum, which are specific for lung tumors. Fatigue and respiratory problems reduce psychological dimension of QoL, while sleep problems reduce cognitive functioning. Physical dimension (related to growing disability) decreases in most of the patients. Also, most of them are unable to play their family and social roles. The disease is a frequent reason of irritation, distress, and depression. Management of the disease symptoms may improve QoL. Controlling the level of fatigue, pulmonary rehabilitation, and social and spiritual support are recommended. Early introduction of tailored palliative treatment is a strategy of choice for improvement of QoL in lung cancer patients.

Keywords: lung cancer, prognostic factor, quality of life, adverse events, survival, public health medicine

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