Repercussions on Stage of Cancer Treatment in Auditory System
Introduction: Chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments in oncology have repercussions in hearing health. These therapies are ototoxic and can damage the sensory structures of the inner ear and thereby cause hearing loss, usually bilateral, irreversible, and accompanied by tinnitus and impairment of high-frequency hearing thresholds.
Objectives: This study aimed to examine the relationship between the stages of cancer treatment (middle or final) and the audiologic profile.
Method: This was a retrospective clinical study of 108 subjects, from the cancer ward of a public hospital in Sergipe, diagnosed with neoplasia. The study was conducted through the analysis of a brief anamnesis and conventional pure tone audiometry. Statistical analysis was performed (chi-square test, nonparametric Mann-Whitney test) with a significance level of 95% (p < 0.05).
Results: Of the 108 cases that were studied, 69 were in the middle stage and 39 had already ended with the treatment. About 27.8% presented sensorineural hearing loss, with 58% of them being in the middle stage and 42% in the end stage of the treatment. There was no correlation between hearing loss and treatment stage—middle (p = 0.525) and final (p = 0.399). The sensorineural hearing loss was characterized by changes in high frequencies, diagnosed at 6 and 8 kHz in the middle stage of treatment and 3, 4, 6, and 8 kHz in the final stage of treatment. There was positive correlation between stages of treatment at 3 kHz (p = 0.008) and 4 kHz frequencies (p = 0.015).
Conclusion: Oncology treatment can damage the auditory system with greater repercussion in the final stage of treatment.