Fear of cancer progression in patients with stage IA malignant melanoma

Tobias Wagner, Matthias Augustin, Christine Blome, Andrea Forschner, Claus Garbe, Ralf Gutzmer, Axel Hauschild, Lucie Heinzerling, Elisabeth Livingstone, Carmen Loquai, Dirk Schadendorf, Patrick Terheyden, Tina Mueller-Brenne, Katharina C. Kähler*

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


We aimed to determine the prevalence and importance of fear of cancer progression (FoP) in melanoma patients with stage IA tumours to assess psychosocial and demographic factors associated with severity of FoP and to determine the relationship of FoP and quality of life (QoL). One hundred and thirty-six patients with stage IA melanoma completed the short version of the Fear of Progression Questionnaire (FoP-Q-SF), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the EORTC-QLQ-C30. We found a mean FoP-Q-SF sum score of 30.2 points (±8.4 points SD). In this study, 33% of patients reported high FoP at or above the cutoff-value of 34 points. Higher FoP was found in women (p < 0.01), young (p = 0.03) and employed (p = 0.02) patients. Being confronted with a cancer diagnosis in closely related persons predicted higher FoP (p < 0.01). FoP correlated positively with the HADS anxiety (r = 0.50, p < 0.01) and depression scales (r = 0.26, p < 0.01) and negatively with the EORTC-QLQ-C30 global health state (r = −0.32, p < 0.01). FoP is considerably prevalent in low-risk melanoma patients and associated with reduced QoL, cancer in related persons, women sex and participation in working life. Considerably high levels of FoP, even in patients with low-risk malignancies, underline the need for psychosocial support and psychotherapeutic interventions for melanoma patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12901
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01.09.2018

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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