Objectives: 1. The stage of presentation of oral cancers in Bedfordshire, UK; 2. The treatment these patients received; 3. And analysis of outcome of treatment including recurrence and survival.
Methods: Data were collected prospectively over a period of 9 years on patients with squamous cell carcinoma in the oral cavity and oropharynx. 216 patients were available for analysis. Patient’s demographics, stage at presentation, treatment intent, types of recurrence and 1-, 3- and 5-year survival were studied. Survival data was calculated using Kaplan–Meier analysis and expressed as overall survival.
Results: The most common age at presentation is the 6th decade and male to female ratio 1.45:1. The stage at presentation was: stage I = 59 (27%); II = 51 (24%); III = 26 (12%); IV = 80 (37%). Treatment with curative intent was given to 177 (82%) patients; and 39 (18%) were palliative. Stage at presentation within the group with curative intent was: stage I = 58 (33%); II = 43 (24%); III = 23 (13%); IV = 53 (30%). 44 (25%) patients were found to have local or loco-regional recurrence only. 7 (4%) patients had evidence of distant metastases in the presence of loco-regional recurrence. 10 patients (6%) had distant metastases with no evidence of loco-regional recurrence or second primary cancer. A total of 61 (34%) out of 177 patients developed local, loco-regional, distant metastases or a combination of these. The overall 1, 3 and 5 years survivals were 78.5%, 54% and 44%, respectively. There is statistically significant difference ( p < 0.0001) between stages at presentation and survival.
Conclusions: Half of the patients present at advanced stage (III and IV) which may explained the relatively poor 5-year overall survival. More resources should be directed towards early recognition of symptoms and avoid delay in presentation.