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This study was conducted to evaluate quality of life in a cohort of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue base, treated with primary surgery, reconstruction and postoperative radiotherapy. Twelve patients were assessed in a cross-sectional study using the University of Washington Quality of Life Instrument (UW-QOL). All patients underwent external beam irradiation following primary resection of their tumour and reconstruction. Patients on average reported their overall and health related QOL to be good. Functionally they had good pain control, speech intelligibility, activity and recreational levels. There were some limitations in chewing, swallowing and taste. The results suggest that surgical resection can offer good functional and overall QOL results for advanced tumours when combined with reconstruction. The morbidity associated with postoperative radiotherapy includes reduced swallowing, taste, saliva production and difficulty chewing.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci

Publication Date





274 - 278


Adult, Aged, Brachytherapy, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell, Cohort Studies, Disease-Free Survival, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Quality of Life, Reconstructive Surgical Procedures, Surgical Flaps, Surveys and Questionnaires, Tongue, Tongue Neoplasms