The mFI is significantly associated with morbidity and mortality in this retrospective survey. Additional study with prospective analysis and external validation is needed. The mFI may provide an improved understanding of preoperative risk, which would facilitate perioperative optimization, risk stratification, and counseling related to outcomes.
BackgroundThe Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, “Unequal Treatment,” which defines disparities as racially based, indicates that disparities in cancer diagnosis and treatment are less clear. While a number of studies have acknowledged cancer disparities, they have limitations of retrospective nature, small sample sizes, inability to control for covariates, and measurement errors.ObjectiveThe purpose of this study was to examine disparities as predictors of survival among newly diagnosed head and neck cancer patients recruited from 3 hospitals in Michigan, USA, while controlling for a number of covariates (health behaviors, medical comorbidities, and treatment modality).MethodsLongitudinal data were collected from newly diagnosed head and neck cancer patients (N = 634). The independent variables were median household income, education, race, age, sex, and marital status. The outcome variables were overall, cancer-specific, and disease-free survival censored at 5 years. Kaplan-Meier curves and univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were performed to examine demographic disparities in relation to survival.ResultsFive-year overall, cancer-specific, and disease-free survival were 65.4% (407/622), 76.4% (487/622), and 67.0% (427/622), respectively. Lower income (HR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1–2.0 for overall survival; HR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.0–1.9 for cancer-specific survival), high school education or less (HR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1–1.9 for overall survival; HR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1–1.9 for cancer-specific survival), and older age in decades (HR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.2–1.7 for overall survival; HR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1–1.4 for cancer-specific survival) decreased both overall and disease-free survival rates. A high school education or less (HR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.0–2.1) and advanced age (HR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1–1.6) were significant independent predictors of poor cancer-specific survival.ConclusionLow income, low education, and advanced age predicted poor survival while controlling for a number of covariates (health behaviors, medical comorbidities, and treatment modality). Recommendations from the Institute of Medicine’s Report to reduce disparities need to be implemented in treating head and neck cancer patients.
This study demonstrates that TORS offers an alternative surgical approach to recurrent tumors of the oropharynx with acceptable oncologic outcomes and better functional outcomes than traditional open surgical approaches. This adds to the growing amount of clinical evidence to support the use of TORS in selected patients with recurrent oropharyngeal SCC as a feasible and oncologically sound method of treatment.
Postoperative thromboprophylaxis with aspirin after microvascular free tissue transfer does not provide an improvement in free flap survival and may be associated with a higher complication rate. Prospective, randomized studies are required to elucidate the role of postoperative pharmacotherapy for prophylaxis against microvascular thrombosis.
Intraoperative vasopressor use may be more common than previously realized in free tissue transfer surgery. Intraoperative vasopressor use does not result in a significant absolute increase in the rate of flap deaths.
Introduction: To determine if smoking after a cancer diagnosis makes a difference in mortality among newly diagnosed head and neck cancer patients. Methods: Longitudinal data were collected from newly diagnosed head and neck cancer patients with a median follow-up time of 1627 days (N = 590). Mortality was censored at 8 years or September 1, 2011, whichever came first. Based on smoking status, all patients were categorized into four groups: continuing smokers, quitters, former smokers, or never-smokers. A broad range of covariates were included in the analyses. Kaplan-Meier curves, bivariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were constructed. Results: Eight-year overall mortality and cancer-specific mortality were 40.5% (239/590) and 25.4% (150/590), respectively. Smoking status after a cancer diagnosis predicted overall mortality and cancer-specific mortality. Compared to never-smokers, continuing smokers had the highest hazard ratio (HR) of dying from all causes (HR = 2.71, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.48-4.98). Those who smoked at diagnosis, but quit and did not relapse-quitters-had an improved hazard ratio of dying (HR = 2.38, 95% CI = 1.29-4.36) and former smokers at diagnosis with no relapse after diagnosis-former smokers-had the lowest hazard ratio of dying from all causes (HR = 1.68, 95% CI = 1.12-2.56). Similarly, quitters had a slightly higher hazard ratio of dying from cancer-specific reasons (HR = 2.38, 95% CI = 1.13-5.01) than never-smokers, which was similar to current smokers (HR = 2.07, 95% CI = 0.96-4.47), followed by former smokers (HR = 1.70, 95% CI = 1.00-2.89). Conclusions: Compared to never-smokers, continuing smokers have the highest HR of overall mortality followed by quitters and former smokers, which indicates that smoking cessation, even after a cancer diagnosis, may improve overall mortality among newly diagnosed head and neck cancer patients. Health care providers should consider incorporating smoking cessation interventions into standard cancer treatment to improve survival among this population. Implications: Using prospective observational longitudinal data from 590 head and neck cancer patients, this study showed that continuing smokers have the highest overall mortality relative to never-smokers, which indicates that smoking cessation, even after a cancer diagnosis, may have beneficial effects on long-term overall mortality. Health care providers should consider incorporating smoking cessation interventions into standard cancer treatment to improve survival among this population.
Pain is a strong contributor to cancer patients’ quality of life. The objective of this study was to determine predictors of pain 1 year after the diagnosis of head and neck cancer.
Prospective, multi-site cohort study.
Three academically-affiliated medical centers.
Previously untreated patients with carcinoma of the upper aerodigestive tract (n=374).
Main Outcome Measures
Participants were surveyed pre-treatment and 1 year thereafter. Multivariate analyses were conducted to determine predictors of the SF-36 bodily pain score 1 year after diagnosis.
The mean SF-36 bodily pain score at 1 year was 65, compared to 61 at diagnosis (p=.004), compared to 75 among population norms (lower scores indicate worse pain). Variables independently associated with pain included pre-treatment pain score (p<0.001), less education (p=0.02), neck dissection (p=0.001), feeding tube (p=0.05), xerostomia (p<0.001), depressive symptoms (p<0.001), taking more pain medication (p<0.001), less physical activity (p=.02), and poor sleep quality (p=0.006). Current smoking and problem drinking were marginally significant (p=0.07 and 0.08, respectively).
Aggressive pain management may be indicated for head and neck cancer patients who undergo neck dissections, complain of xerostomia, require feeding tubes, and have medical comorbidities. Treatment of modifiable risk factors such as depression, poor sleep quality, tobacco and alcohol abuse may also reduce pain and improve quality of life among head and neck cancer patients.
Academic centers rely primarily on q1h flap checks by intensive care unit nurses using physical examination and Doppler sonography. Reduced resident monitoring frequency did not alter flap salvage nor flap outcome. These findings suggest that institutions may successfully monitor free flaps with decreased resident burden.
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