The aim of this study was to report the cause and place of death of patients with oral cancer as recorded by death certification and their survival with regard to comorbidity and age. From the departmental head and neck oncology database, 322 patients were identified with previously untreated oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma diagnosed between 1992 and 1997 inclusive. Three-hundred were matched with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and copies of death certificates generated on 6 March 1999. Of the 286 patients primarily treated by operation, 203 were alive and 83 had died. In 56 (68%), oral cancer was a contributory factor to the patient's death. Patients with a medical history recorded on their admission for operation had similar survival curves compared to those having no problems recorded. Although most patients (n= 46 55%) died in hospital, only 13 (16%) died in the Regional Maxillofacial Unit. Almost half of those patients who died were not recorded as dead on the departmental oncology database. This study shows that it is useful to link with the ONS to obtain accurate data on date and place of death. The death certificate also gives a useful indication of the cause of death and this seems unrelated to preoperative comorbidity.
|Journal||British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|