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Inequality in the Survival of Patients With Head and Neck Cancer in Scotland

By Kate Ingarfield, Alex Douglas McMahon, Catriona M. Douglas, Shirley-Anne Savage, Kenneth MacKenzie and David I. Conway


Background: Socioeconomic inequalities impact on the survival of head and neck cancer (HNC) patients, but there is limited understanding of the explanations of the inequality, particularly in long-term survival.Methods: Patients were recruited from the Scottish Audit of Head and Neck Cancer between 1999 and 2001 and were linked to mortality data as at 30th September 2013. Socioeconomic status was determined using the area-based Carstairs 2001 index. Overall and disease-specific survival were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method with 95% confidence intervals (CI's) at 1-, 5-, and 12-years. Net survival at 1-, 5-, and 12-years was also computed with 95% CIs. Cox proportional hazard models with 95% CIs were used to determine the explanations for the inequality in survival by all-cause mortality and disease-specific mortality with 95% CIs.Results: Most patients were from the most deprived group, and were more likely to smoke, drink, have cancer of a higher stage and have a lower WHO Performance Status. A clear gradient across Carstairs fifths for unadjusted overall and disease-specific survival was observed at 1-, 5-, and 12-years for patients with HNC. Following the adjustment for multiple patient, tumor and treatment factors, the inequality in survival for patients with HNC had attenuated and was no longer statistically significant at 1-, 5-, and 12-years.Conclusion: A clear gradient across Carstairs fifths for unadjusted overall, disease-specific and net survival was observed at 1-, 5-, and 12-years for HNC patients in Scotland from 1999 to 2001. This study concludes that explanations for the inequality in the survival of patients with HNC are not straightforward, and that many factors including various patient, tumor and treatment factors play a part in the inequality in the survival of patients with HNC

Topics: head and neck cancer, socioeconomic status, survival, epidemiology, cohort, scotland, Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology. Including cancer and carcinogens, RC254-282
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Year: 2019
DOI identifier: 10.3389/fonc.2018.00673/full
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