Even with a favorable prognosis, the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) patients remains unclear and conflicting. Thus, in the present study, we compared the HRQoL of PTC patients with that of the general population (GP).
The study was performed in our thyroid and parathyroid surgery department, and 186 PTC patients who had undergone thyroidectomy were included. The exclusion criteria were an age < 18 years, no follow-up, and the presence of other malignant neoplasms. The control group included 186 volunteers who were matched by age, gender, and socioeconomic status. The survivor and control groups were asked to complete the Chinese version of the SF-36 questionnaire.
The 186 volunteers from the GP were well matched to PTC patients with respect to the baseline demographic characteristics. PTC patients showed significantly lower scores than those of the control group in 7 domains of the HRQoL: role-physical (RP), bodily pain (BP), general health (GH), vitality (VT), social functioning (SF), role-emotional (RE), and mental health (MH). PTC was a risk factor for a low Physical Component Summary (PCS) score and a low Mental Component Summary (MCS) score (all P values were less than .05). Significant reductions in the scores of all 8 domains were observed at 1 month after the operation, and obvious recovery was noted at 6 months according to the PCS and MCS scores (all P values were less than .05). However, even 2 years after surgery, few domain scores had recovered to levels found in the GP, including the PCS and MCS scores (all P values were less than .05).
Due to the decreased preoperative and postoperative HRQoL scores, much attention should be given to and more long-term observation should be performed for PTC patients, even those who have undergone surgery.