Non-smoking and non-drinking patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: a distinct population.
SourceOral Diseases, 13, 2, (2007), pp. 239-243
Article / Letter to editor
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Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre
SubjectONCOL 3: Translational research; UMCN 1.2: Molecular diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring
OBJECTIVE: To recognize specific clinicopathological characteristics of non-smoking and non-drinking (NSND) head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients. This can increase our knowledge regarding a potentially different carcinogenesis in these patients. STUDY DESIGN/METHODS: Retrospective analysis of data for 195 NSND patients with HNSCC and comparison with data for patients with HNSCC obtained from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. RESULTS: Compared with all HNSCC patients in the Netherlands, our NSND patients with HNSCC were typically female (n = 142; 73%vs 26%), old at disease presentation (mean 73 years vs 64 years), and had tumors mainly of the oral cavity (n = 130; 66%vs 25%). Most tumors were stage I (n = 67; 34%) and stage IVA (n = 59; 30%). The incidence of second primary tumors (SPTs) was high (n = 32; 16%), mainly occurring in the oral cavity (n = 26; 13%). DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Our study confirms that NSND HNSCC patients have different clinicopathological characteristics from those of the overall HNSCC population; however, the frequency of SPTs is as high in NSND patients as in patients who smoke and drink alcohol. More research, and particularly molecular data are needed to obtain a better understanding of head and neck cancer in NSND patients.
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