Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Soft Palate in the United States: A Population-Based Study

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ObjectivesTo describe the incidence and determinants of survival of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the soft palate (SCCSP) using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database.Study DesignRetrospective, population-based cohort study of patients.SettingSEER cancer registry.Subjects and MethodsPatients from the SEER cancer registry from 1973 to 2015 were used to analyze demographics and survival of SCCSP.ResultsA total of 4366 cases were identified. The average overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS) were 68.7 months and 161.3 months, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that male sex, stage, and treatment (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.690, P = .019; HR = 1.73, P < .001; HR = 0.64, P < .001, respectively) were independent determinants of better or worse DSS. Age, stage, and treatment (HR = 1.02, P < .001; HR = 1.49, P < .001; HR = 0.66, P < .001; HR = 0.48, P < .001, respectively) were independent determinants of better or worse OS. For stages I, II, and III, radiation alone and surgery alone have nearly equivalent OS. Patients with stage IV disease who underwent both surgery and radiation had a significantly higher median OS at 50.0 months.ConclusionRadiation alone and surgery alone both have nearly equivalent OS benefit for stages I to III, while surgery and radiation provide the most survival benefit for stage IV disease. The large discrepancy between OS and DSS can be due to significant comorbidities. Future studies should aim to address the determinants of quality-of-life variables that help direct treatment decisions and might indirectly affect survival.

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