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The national cancer data base report on squamous cell carcinoma of the base of tongue

Authors

  • Weining Zhen MD,

    1. Department of Radiation Oncology and Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 987521 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska 68198-7521
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  • Lucy H. Karnell PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
    • Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
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  • Henry T. Hoffman MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
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  • Gerry F. Funk MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
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  • John M. Buatti MD,

    1. Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
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  • Herman R. Menck MBA

    1. Cancer Surveillance Program of Los Angeles County, USC School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California
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  • From the Commission on Cancer at the American College of Surgeons, Chicago, Illinois, and the American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia

  • Reprint requests to: Weining Zhen, Department of Radiation Oncology and Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 987521 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-7521

Abstract

Background.

This study provides the largest contemporary overview of presentation, care, and outcome for base of tongue squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

Methods.

We extracted 16,188 cases from the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB). Chi-square analyses were performed on selected cross-tabulations. Observed and disease-specific survival were used to analyze outcome.

Results.

Three-quarters had advanced-stage (III–IV) disease. Radiation therapy alone (24.5%) and combined with surgery (26.9%) were the most common treatments. Five-year observed and disease-specific survival rates were 27.8% and 40.3%, respectively. Poorer survival was significantly associated with older age, low income, and advanced-stage disease. For early-stage disease, surgery with or without irradiation had higher survival than irradiation alone. For advanced-stage disease, surgery with irradiation had the highest survival.

Conclusions.

Survival rates were low for base of tongue SCC, with most deaths occurring within the first 2 years. Income, stage, and age were significant prognostic factors. In this nonrandomized series, surgery with radiation therapy offered patients with advanced-stage disease the best survival. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 26: 660–674, 2004

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