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Trends in clinical features and survival of oral cavity cancer: fifty years of experience with 3,362 consecutive cases from a single institution

Authors Chen SW, Zhang Q, Guo ZM, Chen WK, Liu WW, Chen YF, Li QL, Liu XK, Li H, Ou-Yang D, Chen WC, Fu XY, Wang XD, Yang AK, Bei JX, Song M

Received 16 April 2018

Accepted for publication 16 July 2018

Published 12 October 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 4523—4535

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S171251

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Antonella D'Anneo


Shu-Wei Chen,1–3,* Quan Zhang,1–3,* Zhu-Ming Guo,1–3 Wen-Kuan Chen,1–3 Wei-Wei Liu,1–3 Yan-Feng Chen,1–3 Qiu-Li Li,1–3 Xue-Kui Liu,1–3 Hao Li,1–3 Dian Ou-Yang,1–3 Wei-Chao Chen,1–3 Xiao-Yan Fu,1–3 Xi-Di Wang,1–3 An-Kui Yang,1–3 Jin-Xin Bei,2–4 Ming Song1–3

1Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, 2State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, 3Collaborative Innovation Center of Cancer Medicine, 4Department of Experimental Research, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Global data demonstrate minimal improvement in the survival rate for oral cavity cancer (OCC) patients. We wished to know whether or not clinical features and survival rate have changed over time for OCC patients receiving initial treatment and follow-up at a large cancer center in China.
Methods: Clinical features and survival data were collected on patients diagnosed during the successive decades of 1960–1969 (n=253), 1970–1979 (n=497), 1980–1989 (n= 659), 1990–1999 (n=793), and 2000–2009 (n=1,160) at the Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center.
Results: Over time, the overall 5-year survival rate for OCC patients was 52.0%. According to tumor localization, this rate was 71.4% for lip cancer, 56.3% for oral tongue cancer, and 42.7% for other parts of the oral cavity. From the 1960s to the 2000s, the 5-year survival rate steadily improved from 47.8% to 55.6% (P<0.001). Survival steadily decreased with age and was higher for women than for men in the 3 most recent decades. The survival rate for male patients was constant over time, while the rate for female patients improved dramatically. Obvious trends in clinical features over time included the following: increasing age of patients, increasing proportions of localized disease at diagnosis, decreasing proportions of diagnoses of lip cancer, decreasing proportions of diagnoses of squamous cell carcinoma, and decreasing proportions of non-surgical treatment approaches.
Conclusion: The survival rate has steadily improved for OCC patients at this cancer center.

Keywords: oral cavity cancer, clinical features, survival, treatment modality

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