TORONTO—Patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) who have no history of tobacco or significant alcohol use appear to be more likely to present with earlier disease and smaller initial T-stage, but have worse than expected outcomes.
Explore this issue:April 2006
These were the findings from a retrospective chart review of 101 patients with head and neck cancer, which included a subset of patients who had no smoking or drinking history. Details of the study were presented here at the recent meeting of the Eastern Section of the Triological Society by Miriam O’Leary, MD, a resident in the Department of Otolaryngology at the Boston University School of Medicine (Mass.).
“As we know, alcohol and tobacco use are well established risks for the development of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. However, there is a growing body of data on cancer patients who do not have these typical risk factors,” she said. Studies in the medical literature report that between 10% and 25% of head and neck cancer patients do not have a history of tobacco smoking or drinking.