New research has found that hearing issues are common among adult patients who survive cancer. The study, conducted by researchers at UC San Francisco, discovered that more than one-half of cancer survivors who underwent chemotherapy had significant hearing issues.
Prior to this, it was unknown how often survivors of lung, gastrointestinal, gynecologic or breast cancer suffered tinnitus and hearing loss. Tinnitus refers to ringing in the ears.
For their study, the researchers recruited 273 survivors, with an average age of 61. All individuals involved had concluded cancer treatment about five years before. The researchers discovered that roughly 35% of them experienced tinnitus while more than 50% of them suffered significant hearing loss, which was confirmed by an audiogram.
The participants who suffered from hearing loss also reported varying levels of impairment with routine activities, including conversing in crowded areas, talking with people or listening to radio or TV, noting that this negatively impacted their mood and social interactions. Additionally, survivors who experienced tinnitus reported that this condition impacted their sleep and ability to concentrate as well as their mood.
Professor Steven W. Cheung of otolaryngology at the institution stated that while hearing loss linked to the administration of platinum drugs had been reported in patients with head and neck as well as testicular cancers, the study was the first to show that tinnitus and hearing loss were common issues for adult survivors of the aforementioned cancers. He explained that the research also found that high rates of tinnitus and hearing loss occurred with chemotherapy drugs known as taxanes.
Cheung, who was the first author of the study, noted that these findings had huge implications for clinicians who treated patients with cancers as well as survivors, especially since taxane-containing chemotherapy treatments were commonly used to treat different types of this fatal disease.
Christine Miaskowski, the study’s senior and corresponding author, highlighted the need for cancer survivors to have their hearing checked regularly. In their report, the researchers emphasized the importance of evaluating tinnitus and hearing loss before, during and after the administration of chemotherapy treatments. They also noted that routine screening and follow-ups by hearing professionals were needed, adding that management plans for tinnitus required consultation with specialists.
The study’s findings were published in “BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care.” It was supported by the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society, as well as the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.
It is important for patients to notify their oncologist or primary healthcare provider about any hearing issues or tinnitus they may experience. Professional may be able to recommend helpful products on the market, such as those made by Jupiter Wellness Inc. (NASDAQ: JUPW) or other manufacturers.
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