Quality of Life in Basal Cell Carcinoma Patients in Brazil: A Pilot Cross Sectional Study

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common malignant neoplasm in humans. BCC is asymptomatic, and its growth is slow, which may explain why patients often delay seeking treatment.

OBJECTIVE

To determine the clinical, historical, and demographic variables associated with the high Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) scores of patients with BCC.

METHODS

We performed a cross-sectional study of 78 consecutive patients with primary BCCs who underwent tumor excision with margin control. Age, sex, habits, number of BCCs, BCC location, pathologic types, and DLQI were analyzed.

RESULTS

Most patients had skin phototypes I and II (89.8%) and nodular BCC (66.0%). DLQI analysis showed that 89.7% of patients had scores less than 5 (no or small effects on patient's life). Wearing sunscreen for more than 5 years, tumor ulceration, having a tumor larger than 2 cm in diameter, and having a tumor located not on the head were associated with higher DLQI scores in patients (p < .05).

CONCLUSION

Age, sex, outdoor activities, habitual sun exposure, or quantity of tumors did not influence quality of life. Patients who had used sunscreen for more than 5 years, had ulcerated tumors, had tumors larger than 2 cm and had tumors located outside of the head had higher DLQI scores.

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