The UP-DOH Quality of Life Scale for Cancer Patients

During my fellowship training in Medical Oncology, I have learned the value and importance of the Quality of Life (QoL) of our cancer patients. As more and more treatments are becoming available that cure and / or extend the lives of our cancer patients, the challenge is to balance increasing survival and maintaining the best quality of life that could possibly be achieved.


This is probably the main reason why QoL studies are one of my research interests. A lot of instruments have been specifically validated for cancer patients such as the WHO QoL Questionnaire and the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire among others. But do you know that in 1996, the University of the Philippines (UP) Department of Epidemiology was commissioned by the Department of Health (DOH) (under the Philippine Cancer Control Program) to make a QoL scale for Filipinos? The result was what is now known as the UP-DOH QoL Scale for Cancer Patients which was developed to be a culturally appropriate validated instrument to measure the QoL of Filipino cancer patients.


After publishing some studies using this validated tool, we have been receiving a lot of  emails from researchers (students, resident physicians, fellows, and clinician-scientists) around the country.


With Dr. Corazon Ngelangel’s (one of the lead authors of the UP-DOH QoL Scale for Cancer Patients) permission, we are now making the tool available online to encourage its use to clinicians and researchers alike. We only ask that the authors of the UP-DOH QoL Scale be cited properly.

Dr. Corazon Ngelangel (front row, center) together with the UP-PGH Medical Oncology Consultants and Fellows circa 2018. #Zirz

Link to download the UP-DOH QoL Scale for Cancer Patients:

Link to our study on the Quality of Life of Filipino Head and Neck Cancer Patients using this tool:

Link to our study on how Filipino Oncologists assess their Patients’ Quality of Life:

We hope to see more QoL studies involving our cancer patients in the Philippines in the near future. Feel free to email me at for concerns or collaborations.

As we take care of cancer patients, let us always strive to improve our patients’ quality of life. And this starts, as with all things in medicine, with proper assessment.

God bless you!






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