Self-reported oral morbidities in long-term oropharyngeal cancer survivors: A cross-sectional survey of 906 survivors.

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Indexed on: 18 Aug '18Published on: 18 Aug '18Published in: Oral Oncology


The purpose of this study is to estimate the prevalence and severity of late oral morbidities in disease-free oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) survivors using patient reported outcomes. Cross-sectional survivorship survey of patients who completed definitive treatment for oropharyngeal carcinoma  > 12-months previously without evidence of recurrence, second primary malignancy, or distant metastasis after index cancer. Using MD Anderson Symptom Inventory- Head and Neck Module (MDASI-HN), scores for 4 self-reported oral morbidities: dry mouth, mucus secretions, mouth and throat sores, and teeth and gum issues were evaluated. Among 906 survey respondents (57% response rate), (median survival time: 7 years), "dry mouth" and "problems with my mucus" were reported moderate/severe (MDASI-HN item score ≥5) in 39% and 22% of respondents, while 14% reported moderate/severe "problems with teeth and gums". Smoking at the time of survey was significantly associated with the severity of oral symptoms including "mucus" (p = 0.03), "dry mouth" (p = 0.02), "problems with my teeth and gums" (p = 0.001). All the oral morbidities symptom items significantly, positively correlated with the mean interference scores reflecting adverse impact to quality of life (QOL): "mucus" (r = 0.445, p < 0.001), "problems with teeth" (r = 0.446, p < 0.001), "mouth sores" (r = 0.321, p < 0.001) and "dry mouth" (r = 0.459, p < 0.001). This study showed that 45.5% reported at least one late oral morbidity at moderate/severe level which negatively correlated overall function, even years after treatment. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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