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Does buccal cancer have worse prognosis than other oral cavity cancers?

Laryngoscope 2014 June
OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: To determine whether buccal squamous cell carcinoma has worse overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS) than cancers in the rest of the oral cavity.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of a large population database.

METHODS: We began with a Kaplan-Meier analysis of OS and DSS for buccal versus nonbuccal tumors with unmatched data, followed by an analysis of cases matched for race, age at diagnosis, stage at diagnosis, and treatment modality. This was supported by a univariate Cox regression comparing buccal cancer to nonbuccal cancer, followed by a multivariate Cox regression that included all significant variables studied.

RESULTS: With unmatched data, buccal cancer had significantly lesser OS and DSS values than cancers in the rest of the oral cavity (P < .001). After case matching, the differences between OS and DSS for buccal cancer versus nonbuccal oral cancer were no longer significant. Univariate Cox regression models with respect to OS and DSS showed a significant difference between buccal cancer and nonbuccal cancer. However, with multivariate analysis, buccal hazard ratios for OS and DSS were not significant.

CONCLUSIONS: With the largest series of buccal carcinoma to date, our study concludes that the OS and DSS of buccal cancer are similar to those of cancers in other oral cavity sites once age at diagnosis, tumor stage, treatment, and race are taken into consideration. The previously perceived poor prognosis of buccal carcinoma may be due to variations in tumor presentation, such as later stage and older patient age.


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