We thank everyone who contributed to this study. We are grateful to Julia Wernke, PhD, for her assistance in study development and to Lingjiao Zhang, MS, for assistance with statistical analyses. Appreciation is also extended to Sarah Rumler and Amy Abramowitz for assisting in data collection. We also thank the physicians and allied staff in the Head and Neck Cancer clinic at University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center for their support in data collection.
Modifiable risk behaviors in patients with head and neck cancer
Article first published online: 10 APR 2013
Copyright © 2013 American Cancer Society
Volume 119, Issue 13, pages 2419–2426, 01 July 2013
How to Cite
Sivasithamparam, J., Visk, C. A., Cohen, E. E. W. and King, A. C. (2013), Modifiable risk behaviors in patients with head and neck cancer. Cancer, 119: 2419–2426. doi: 10.1002/cncr.27993
Informed consent was obtained from all subjects.
- Issue published online: 17 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 10 APR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 26 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Received: 1 NOV 2012
- head and neck cancer;
- tobacco use;
- alcohol drinking;
- sexual behavior;
- human papillomavirus
Use of tobacco products, excessive alcohol consumption, and high-risk sexual behaviors increase the risk of developing head and neck cancer and impacts treatment effectiveness after diagnosis. This study examined smoking and engagement in other modifiable behavioral risk factors and human papillomavirus (HPV) status in patients with head and neck cancer in order to facilitate identification and foster development of targeted interventions in high-risk patients.
Participants were 102 patients with head and neck cancer at a large urban cancer center who completed a self-report background and health questionnaire and provided a saliva sample for determination of the long-acting nicotine metabolite cotinine.
Compared with former and never-smokers, current smokers were less educated, less likely to be married or living with a partner, and consumed more alcohol. Cotinine analysis indicated that 4 of 16 (25%) patients who denied past-month cigarette use misrepresented their true smoking status. Of patients with oropharyngeal cancer, 74% were confirmed as HPV-positive, and compared with HPV-negative patients, they were younger, more likely to be married/partnered and of Caucasian race, and reported more past vaginal and oral sexual partners. Only one-third of HPV-positive patients were aware of their HPV disease status.
Cigarette smoking is associated with engagement in other modifiable risk factors in patients with head and neck cancer. Self-report measures of smoking may not accurately depict true smoking status. HPV-positive cancer patients were more likely to endorse a history of multiple sexual partners. Regular screening and targeted interventions for these distinct risk factors are warranted. Cancer 2013;119:2419-2426. © 2013 American Cancer Society.