Nutritional factors and survival of patients with oral cancer

Head Neck. 2006 Nov;28(11):998-1007. doi: 10.1002/hed.20461.


Background: Our objective was to determine the survival rate of patients with oral cancer who were treated at a medical center in central Taiwan. Furthermore, we attempted to investigate whether nutritional factors influence the survival.

Methods: We carried out a retrospective review of 1010 chart records of patients with oral cancer. We used the Kaplan-Meier method for survival analysis and the Cox proportional hazard models to investigate the prognosticators.

Results: Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed an overall 5-year survival rate of 63.24%. The Cox proportional hazard model revealed that those with a preoperative body mass index (BMI) of <22.8 kg/m(2) tended to have a higher probability of death (relative risk [RR] = 1.292, p = .022). In addition, those with a preoperative serum albumin level of <4.15 g/dL were generally associated with a poorer prognosis (RR = 1.313, p = .016).

Conclusions: Apart from clinical features, nutritional factors also had a significant influence on the survival of patients with oral cancer. Therefore, good nutritional status is crucial for patients with oral cancer in improving their survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Serum Albumin*


  • Serum Albumin