Functional Outcomes After Treatment of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Base of the Tongue | Otolaryngology | JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery | JAMA Network
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Original Article
August 2002

Functional Outcomes After Treatment of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Base of the Tongue

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Otolaryngology (Mr Perlmutter and Drs Johnson, Snyderman, and Myers) and Radiation Oncology (Dr Cano), The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2002;128(8):887-891. doi:10.1001/archotol.128.8.887
Abstract

Objective  To compare functional outcome and quality of life after various treatments for squamous cell carcinoma of the base of the tongue.

Design  Retrospective survey using statistical comparison.

Setting  Academic medical center, institutional practice.

Participants  Patients treated for squamous cell carcinoma of the base of the tongue between 1976 and 2000. Living patients 3 or more months after treatment were eligible. Questionnaire packets including validated site-specific quality-of-life instruments were mailed to 105 qualifying patients. Sixty-one patients participated, forming a volunteer sample. Patient responses were grouped according to treatment modality, operative vs nonoperative.

Main Outcome Measures  The planned outcome was that nonoperative therapy would result in better function than operative treatment.

Results  Most comparisons indicated no statistical difference in outcome between operative and nonoperative groups. Significant differences (95% confidence interval) were calculated for age, interval since treatment, and T stage. Group comparisons of patient responses revealed significant differences only in xerostomia and days hospitalized.

Conclusions  The tongue remains dysfunctional after both surgical and nonoperative treatment. Nonoperative treatment might more adversely affect saliva. Surgery is associated with a longer hospital stay.

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