Although clinical findings in these studies are important and have been discussed, the emphasis of this review was on general aspects of the findings concerning the quality of life. These findings constitute a crucial role in the treatment of lung cancer patients and reflect a wide spectrum of issues that should be integrated into clinical practice.
Several topics in this article have been highlighted: first, that quality of life assessment can be a prognostic factor and predictor of survival; second, that the need for inclusion of quality of life as a valid end point in evaluation of the treatment of lung cancer patients has been emphasized. Since most lung cancer patients live for a short time, the need for palliation of symptoms is the first priority. Data from clinical studies of lung cancer clearly indicate that, for example, of 100 lung cancer patients, 86 suffer from pain, 70 have dyspnea, and 68 have anorexia. These findings suggest that to improve the quality of life in lung cancer patients, resources should be directed to palliative care, and this has implications for lung cancer care purchasers.
As discussed earlier, several recent meta-analyses have shown promising clinical achievements in the management of small and non-small cell lung cancer. These findings suggest that for patients with advanced and metastatic small and non-small cell lung cancer, survival alone should not be considered as the only outcome, rather the best way forward is through further clinical trials looking at new drug schedules and using as end points cost effectiveness and validated quality of life measures. buy zyrtec online
The problem is that in these meta-analyses, it is not possible to study quality of life. Thus, individual clinical trials need to address quality of life in an agreed manner and find out whether the progress in survival could lead to better quality of life or not. In addition to the clinical trials, it is worthwhile to conduct population-based outcome studies to have a better understanding of patients’ pretreatment and posttreatment quality of life. In such evaluations, patients’ socioeconomic characteristics may play an important role. Variation in quality of life among patients with small and non-small cell lung cancer may be explained by other factors, such as patients’ socioeconomic backgrounds, rather than just disease- or treatment-related side effects. Since little is known about the role of these factors, further investigation in this area is recommended.
In addition, creation of a supportive environment may help patients overcome their problems. Relatives, clinicians, social work departments, and cancer support groups all have an important role to play in this matter. Of these, the role of clinicians in recognizing these symptoms and referring patients to appropriate care is very crucial. This can be achieved by simple measures of quality of life, for example, the HADS, which is a good screening tool to identify patients in need.