Objective: In Taiwan, the median age of diagnosis for oral cavity cancer is 51 year old, which is about 10 years earlier than that in Western countries. A recent study assessing the effect of marriage on outcomes for elderly oral cavity cancer patients (≥66 years old) showed that marriage was associated with better survival. However, little is known about the prognostic significance of marital status in oral cavity cancer patients aged 65 years and younger.
Methods: Data from 2007 to 2014 were collected from the Cancer Registry Dataset of the Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital. We reviewed the records of all newly diagnosed patients with oral cavity cancer who were aged 65 years and younger and being treated by primary surgery with or without neck dissection or adjuvant therapy. None of the included patients had distant metastasis upon diagnosis. In total, 457 patients were indentified. We used multivariate Cox regression model to evaluate the effect of marriage on disease-specific survival rates after adjusting for demographic variables and treatments.
Results: There was no significant difference between the married and unmarried groups in stage at diagnosis or treatment. The 5-year disease-specific survival was 70.9% in the married group and 51.2% in the unmarried group (P=0.001). Multivariate analysis with Cox regression showed that unmarried patients had worse disease-specific survival (unmarried, adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.51, 95% CI: 1.06-2.16). Subgroup analysis among patients stratified by the independent factors in multivariate analysis revealed that being unmarried was associated with a trend of worse survival in most stratified groups.
Conclusion: Marriage was associated with better disease-specific survival for oral cavity cancer patients aged 65 years and younger.
Keywords: Disease-specific survival; Marital status; Oral cavity cancer.
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