Quality of life is an individual perception of life, values, objectives, standards, and interests in the framework of culture. A number of illness-related factors exist that can affect quality of life. The term quality of life is increasingly being used as a primary outcome measure in studies to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. Patients, generally, instead of measuring lipoprotein level, blood pressure, and the electrocardiogram, make decisions about their health care by means of quality of life which estimates the effects on outcomes important to themselves.
An increasingly important issue in oncology is to evaluate the quality of life in cancer patients. The cancer-specific quality of life is related to all stages of this disease. In fact, for all types of cancer patients, general instruments can be used to assess the overall impact of the patient's health status, based on their quality of life. However, on the other hand, cancer-specific instruments assess the impact of a specific cancer on quality of life. In some forms of cancer (Giloma for instance), quality of life has become an important endpoint for treatment comparison, in randomized controlled trials, so that in these patients clinical studies increasingly incorporate quality of life as an endpoint.
Cancer can present many different symptoms, some subtle and some not so subtle. Some symptoms of cancer, affecting quality of life in patients, would be cancer type and stage, as some types of cancer do not present any symptoms until they are in advanced stages, time since diagnosis, patient acceptance, and intensity of the disease and the level of psychological distress experienced by caregivers.
Having a potentially life-threatening disease, like cancer, often leads people to examine their lives and look for meaning. In fact, this search for meaning may be the aspect of cancer that most often has a positive influence on life. The fear of death that affects most people when they are diagnosed with cancer, often leads us to think about what we leave behind and what we would like to do with the time we have left. It can make one feel like it’s the quality of life, not just the quantity, which matters most.
List of things we do in Quality of Life
Quality of life means different things to different people. What’s most important is that one figures out what it means to them, and overcome it.
It is not beyond us to meet the challenge if -
The emotional and mental impacts of cancer are taken as seriously as the physical impacts.
Cancer patients are made aware of treatment related symptoms and side effects, so that they can be more informed in their choices.
Holistic, person-centred, multidisciplinary approaches to cancer care are accessible, which will improve cancer outcomes and maximize the quality of life for people of all ages, living with cancer, their families and careers.
Individuals feel empowered to talk about cancer and reach out for support.
Governments implement global commitments to ensure that palliative care is included in all national health policies and budgets, and in the curricula for health professionals.
Healthcare providers are equipped with the skills and knowledge to ensure that all cancer patients have access to adequate pain relief and quality palliative care.