J Korean Thyroid Assoc.  2014 May;7(1):62-69.

Clinical Factors Associated with Quality of Life in Patients with Thyroid Cancer

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. JOHNSTEIN@yuhs.ac


The incidence of thyroid cancer is rapidly increasing worldwide. Recently, attention to quality of life (QOL) issues has been increasingly addressed in the management of cancer. The goal of this review is provide a systematic overview for clinical factors associated with QOL in patients with thyroid cancer. Age is often cited as a QOL predictor with older patients more vulnerable than younger patients. High levels of fatigue and psychological distress such as anxiety and depression might be associated with decreased QOL. Although surgery for thyroid cancer leads to worse QOL shortly, there is a trend towards recovery with time. Levothyroxine treatment in thyroid cancer can result in similar or slightly impaired QOL. Thyroid hormone withdrawal causes significant reductions of QOL of thyroid cancer patients. The use of recombinant human thyrotropin (rhTSH) instead of thyroid hormone withdrawal can prevent QOL deterioration by thyroid hormone withdrawal. Generally, thyroid cancer survivors have a similar or slightly worse QOL compared with the normative population. In conclusion, thyroid cancer has a considerable impact on QOL of patients, and therefore multidisciplinary approach with special concern for QOL is recommended.


Thyroid cancer; Quality of life; Anxiety; Depression
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