Surveillance After Treatment of Oral Cancer

  • Richard W. Nason
  • K. Alok Pathak
Part of the Head and Neck Cancer Clinics book series (HNCC)


Patients with cancer of the upper aero-digestive tract die from persistent or recurrent disease, second primary tumours, or intercurrent medical illness. In our experience with a cohort of 700 patients with oral cancer in the population-based tumour registry CancerCare Manitoba, 625 were treated with curative intent (R. Nason, 2010, unpublished data). Persistent disease was observed in 50 patients, the majority of whom were treated with radiotherapy (RT) as a single treatment modality. In the 575 patients that were rendered disease-free, recurrence was identified in 190 (30.4 %). The documented site of initial treatment failure was the primary site and neck in 117 and 82 patients, respectively. Distant metastases were observed at the time of initial treatment failure in 24 patients (3.8 %). Fifty-four patients (28 %) were rendered disease-free with further treatment. One hundred and fifty-seven second primary tumours were identified in 146 patients. The most frequent site was the head and neck (n = 100), followed by the lung (n = 50) and the oesophagus (n = 7). The overall and cause-specific survival at 5 years was 51 and 63 %. Overall survival by stage of disease was 74 %, 59 %, 52 % and 29 % for stages I–IV, respectively. The cause of death was documented in 336 of the 379 deaths observed in this cohort. Death was attributed to disease in 186 patients, new primary tumours in 70 and other causes in 80 patients [1]. These parameters are consistent with most reported series of oral cancer [2–6].


Oral Cancer Asymptomatic Recurrence Speech Language Pathologist Single Treatment Modality Routine Chest Radiograph 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.CancerCare Manitoba, Department of SurgeryUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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