gms | German Medical Science

27th German Cancer Congress Berlin 2006

German Cancer Society (Frankfurt/M.)

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

Quality of life in laryngeal cancer patients: Comparison of total (TL) versus partial laryngectomy (PL) adjusted to tumour stage

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Julian Bindewald - Universität Leipzig, Abt. Sozialmedizin, Deutschland
  • Esther Herrmann - Universität Leipzig, Abt. Sozialmedizin
  • Cornelia Wulke - Universitätsklinikum, Halle
  • Andreas Dietz - Universitätsklinikum, Leipzig
  • Reinhold Schwarz - Universität Leipzig, Abt. Sozialmedizin
  • Susanne Singer - Universität Leipzig, Abt. Sozialmedizin

27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocOP241

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: March 20, 2006

© 2006 Bindewald et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objectives: Since total and partial laryngectomees for laryngeal cancer achieve similar survival rates, quality of life shall be an important determinant for indication in patients with tumour stages II, III and IV. To date there are no published studies which compare quality of life in TL and PL patients adjusted to tumour stage. Aim of this study is to compare quality of life, voice quality and mental health in laryngeal cancer patients with TL versus PL in groups matched by tumour stage.

Patients and methods: In a structured interview and several standardized questionnaires 217 laryngectomized and 151 partially resected patients from otolaryngology clinics in Leipzig and Halle have been investigated in two cross-sectional studies. 43 TL and 43 PL patients (i.e. laser surgery, vertical or horizontal resection) out of these groups were matched by comparable tumour stage (UICC). Both groups have been assessed by the European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Core Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) and Head-and-Neck Module (EORTC QLQ-H&N35) for quality of life, the Postlaryngectomy Telephone Intelligibility Test (PLTT) for voice quality, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) for mental health.

Preliminary results: There are only few significant differences in health related quality of life: in laryngectomees senses are more affected (U=254, p=.000) and the intelligibility of the voice is lower (U=177, p=.000). PL-Patients, however, assess their quality of voice worse than the laryngectomees (U=581, p=.01). Mental health and all other domains of quality of life do not differ significantly between the groups.

Discussion: Despite the fact that patients after partial laryngectomy have a better speech performance they do not feel like this but even worse. This might be due to the fact that they expect a better voice intelligibility since they had a minor operation. If one compares patient groups without parallelisation in terms of matching for tumour stage, differences in quality of life might be overestimated.