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Abstract

A retrospective analysis of 171 patients with carcinoma of the tonsillar region is presented. The majority of patients (79%) presented with stage III and IV disease. Three year determinate survival was 81% - T1, 74% - T2, 59% - T3, and 20% - T4. The presence of nodal disease decreased survival by one half.

Radiotherapy alone was highly successful in controlling early T1 and T2 lesions of the tonsillar fossa. Surgery alone or combined radiotherapy and surgery was more successful than radiotherapy in controlling early T1 and T2 lesions of the tonsillar pillar. More advanced T3 and T4 lesions also did poorly with radiotherapy alone. An analysis of these results and a review of the literature is presented.