BACKGROUND: The major goal of routine follow-up in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) patients is the asymptomatic detection of new disease in order to improve survival. This study evaluated the effect of routine follow-up on overall survival (OS).
METHODS: A retrospective cohort of 307 consecutive OPSCC patients treated with curative intent between 2006 and 2012 was analyzed. The effectiveness of routine follow-up was studied by comparing treatment-intent and OS in patients with asymptomatically versus symptomatically detected new disease.
RESULTS: Three- and five-year risks of new disease were 29% (95% CI: 24-34) and 33% (95% CI: 27-39). Of the 81 patients with locoregional recurrence or second primary head and neck cancer, 8 (10%) were detected asymptomatically with no difference in OS with those detected with symptoms.
CONCLUSIONS: Asymptomatic detection of new disease during routine visits was not associated with improved OS. The focus of follow-up should be on providing psychosocial care and rehabilitation.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Head and Neck-Journal for the Sciences and Specialties of the Head and Neck|
|Early online date||24 Dec 2022|
|Publication status||Published - 2023|