DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_204_23 ISSN: 0972-6748

A study of disability before and after radiotherapy among head and neck cancer patients residing around atomic power plant

Bharat Singh Shekhawat, Neeraj Sharma, Vikas Dhaka, Sandhya Yadav, K Vignesh
  • General Medicine


Head and neck cancer (HNC) is a profoundly distressing condition that can have significant psychological implications. It has the potential to impact various fundamental aspects of an individual's life, resulting in functional impairments and structural deformities depending on the location, size, and route of spread, therefore causing significant disability. Yet, this has not been adequately studied. People residing around areas around the atomic radiation power plant are exposed to radiation, and also, contamination of water sources, including the Chambal River, which is a major source of water needs of this area, may have a role in the pathogenesis and prognosis of cancer patients.


This study aimed to study disability in patients with head and neck cancer before and after radiotherapy.

Materials and Methods:

This prospective observational study was conducted in association with the Department of Radiotherapy of a tertiary care hospital in Rajasthan. Fifty consecutive HNC patients aged 18 to 65 years fulfilling inclusion criteria, specifically laid down for the study, constituted the sample of the study. The World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule version 2.0 (WHODAS-2.0) was used.


The mean age of patients was 49.62 years. A statistically significant improvement after radiotherapy was found in disability scores in domains of cognition (2.39 vs. 1.88), self-care (2.39 vs. 1.78), and getting along with people domain (2.38 vs. 1.83).


Disability improved significantly in patients after radiotherapy in the domains of self-care, getting along with people, and cognition.

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