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Full Adherence to Follow-Up Improves Head/Neck CA Survival

Survival more likely with compliance with posttreatment surveillance, tobacco cessation

FRIDAY, May 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, compliance with posttreatment surveillance (PTS) is associated with survival, according to a study published online May 7 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Michael W. Deutschmann, M.D., from the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, and colleagues examined how compliance with follow-up affects clinical outcomes in a cohort of 332 patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

The researchers identified significant effects on survival for compliance with PTS (P = 0.001), U.S. Census tract income level (P = 0.001), and the distance patients travel for follow-up (P = 0.01). There were significant associations with an increased risk of death for more advanced disease (hazard ratio [HR], 1.76), middle and moderate census tract income level (HR, 1.64 and 1.90, respectively), and age (HR, 1.03). Compliance was also associated with tobacco cessation (P = 0.003) and distance that a patient lived from the medical center (P = 0.008).

"Patients had improved overall survival with full compliance of PTS as well as tobacco cessation," the authors write. "Compliance levels were significantly associated with smoking cessation and patients traveling greater than 200 miles for follow-up."

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