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Improved survival among patients with base of tongue and tonsil cancer in the United States

Guo-Pei Yu, Vikas Mehta, Daniel Branovan, Qiang Huang, Mia Hashibe, Zuo-Feng Zhang and Stimson P. Schantz
Cancer Causes & Control
Vol. 23, No. 1 (January 2012), pp. 153-164
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41410297
Page Count: 12
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Improved survival among patients with base of tongue and tonsil cancer in the United States
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Abstract

Objective To examine if survival has changed over the last 20 years in patients with base of tongue and tonsil cancers in the United States. Methods Using SEER data, we employed Kaplan-Meier method to draw survival curves and calculate survival rates, and estimated adjusted hazard ratios (HR). Results From the 1980s to the 2000s, the 5-year overall survival rates statistically significantly improved by 100% from 25 to 51% among patients with one primary base of tongue cancer and 28-60% among those with one primary tonsil cancer (p values for trend < 0.001). In addition, the 5-year cancer-specific survival improved by 222.4 and 276%, respectively, among two types of patients. Survival improvement was more pronounced among male patients than among female patients regardless of young or old age, while the improvement was generally consistent among patients with different tumor stages and treatment methods. In contrast, however, those patients with subsequent multiple cancers showed no improvement in overall survival over time. Conclusions The survival of patients with base of tongue and tonsil cancer has significantly improved over the last decades in the United States. Whether the improvement is associated with HPV infection, screening, or early detection is worthy to study in future.

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