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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 61-64

Locally advanced oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma: Barriers related to effective treatment

Department of Medical Oncology, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Nagesh T Sirsath
Department of Medical Oncology, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-330X.155637

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Background: Oral cavity cancer is a significant health problem in India. Majority of patients present with locally advanced disease requiring multimodality treatment. Compliance to recommended treatment is an important factor affecting outcome. Aims: The aim was to evaluate the outcome of locally advanced oral cavity cancer patients with regards to treatment adherence and to assess reasons of noncompliance. Materials and Methods: This was a prospective observational study. We included patients referred to Department of Medical Oncology for induction chemotherapy in view of locally advanced oral cavity cancer. Results: Only 15 (26%) patients completed planned treatment schedule. Their 1 year overall survival was 93%. The remaining 43 patients who received inadequate treatment had a dismal 21% 1 year overall survival. Illiteracy, poverty, long waiting list for surgery, prolonged delay for health scheme treatment plan approval and dissatisfaction with attitude of hospital staffs are major barriers related to effective treatment of these patients. Conclusions: A detailed discussion with patient and their relatives regarding recommended treatment, proper implementation of health schemes, increasing trained manpower to avoid long waiting list for surgery, provision of additional financial support for family member accompanying the patient and a sympathetic approach toward patients are needed to help these patients overcome the battle.

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