Does buccal cancer have worse prognosis than other oral cavity cancers?

Authors

  • P. Ryan Camilon BA,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A.
    • Send correspondence to P. Ryan Camilon, Clinical Research Fellow, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, 135 Rutledge Ave. MSC 550, Charleston, SC 29425. E-mail: camilon@musc.edu

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  • William A. Stokes BS,

    1. College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A.
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  • Colin W. Fuller MD, MS,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A.
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  • Shaun A. Nguyen MD, MA,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A.
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  • Eric J. Lentsch MD

    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A.
    2. Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A.
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  • The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis

To determine whether buccal squamous cell carcinoma has worse overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS) than cancers in the rest of the oral cavity.

Study Design

Retrospective analysis of a large population database.

Methods

We began with a Kaplan-Meier analysis of OS and DSS for buccal versus nonbuccal tumors with unmatched data, followed by an analysis of cases matched for race, age at diagnosis, stage at diagnosis, and treatment modality. This was supported by a univariate Cox regression comparing buccal cancer to nonbuccal cancer, followed by a multivariate Cox regression that included all significant variables studied.

Results

With unmatched data, buccal cancer had significantly lesser OS and DSS values than cancers in the rest of the oral cavity (P < .001). After case matching, the differences between OS and DSS for buccal cancer versus nonbuccal oral cancer were no longer significant. Univariate Cox regression models with respect to OS and DSS showed a significant difference between buccal cancer and nonbuccal cancer. However, with multivariate analysis, buccal hazard ratios for OS and DSS were not significant.

Conclusions

With the largest series of buccal carcinoma to date, our study concludes that the OS and DSS of buccal cancer are similar to those of cancers in other oral cavity sites once age at diagnosis, tumor stage, treatment, and race are taken into consideration. The previously perceived poor prognosis of buccal carcinoma may be due to variations in tumor presentation, such as later stage and older patient age.

Level of Evidence

2b Laryngoscope, 124:1386–1391, 2014

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