Research Papers:

Marital status and survival of patients with oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma: a population-based study

Xiao Shi, Ting-ting Zhang, Wei-ping Hu and Qing-hai Ji _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:28526-28543. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16095

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Xiao Shi1,2, Ting-ting Zhang1,2, Wei-ping Hu3, Qing-hai Ji1,2

1Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, China

2Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

3Department of Respiratory Medicine, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Correspondence to:

Qing-hai Ji, email: jiqinghai@shca.org.cn

Keywords: oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma, marital status, SEER, survival analysis, spousal support

Received: November 04, 2016     Accepted: February 28, 2017     Published: March 10, 2017


Background: The relationship between marital status and oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC) survival has not been explored. The objective of our study was to evaluate the impact of marital status on OCSCC survival and investigate the potential mechanisms.

Results: Married patients had better 5-year cancer-specific survival (CSS) (66.7% vs 54.9%) and 5-year overall survival (OS) (56.0% vs 41.1%). In multivariate Cox regression models, unmarried patients also showed higher mortality risk for both CSS (Hazard Ratio [HR]: 1.260, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.187–1.339, P < 0.001) and OS (HR: 1.328, 95% CI: 1.266–1.392, P < 0.001). Multivariate logistic regression showed married patients were more likely to be diagnosed at earlier stage (P < 0.001) and receive surgery (P < 0.001). Married patients still demonstrated better prognosis in the 1:1 matched group analysis (CSS: 62.9% vs 60.8%, OS: 52.3% vs 46.5%).

Materials and Methods: 11022 eligible OCSCC patients were identified from Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, including 5902 married and 5120 unmarried individuals. Kaplan-Meier analysis, Log-rank test and Cox proportional hazards regression model were used to analyze survival and mortality risk. Influence of marital status on stage, age at diagnosis and selection of treatment was determined by binomial and multinomial logistic regression. Propensity score matching method was adopted to perform a 1:1 matched cohort.

Conclusions: Marriage has an independently protective effect on OCSCC survival. Earlier diagnosis and more sufficient treatment are possible explanations. Besides, even after 1:1 matching, survival advantage of married group still exists, indicating that spousal support from other aspects may also play an important role.

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