Compliance to Therapy—Elderly Head and Neck Carcinoma Patients
Keywords:compliance, HNSCC, elderly patients, overall treatment time
Treatment compliance of elderly patients to intensive multimodality cancer therapy can be challenging and has not been adequately addressed in developing countries. The present study evaluated compliance of elderly head and neck carcinomas patients to cancer-directed therapy.
Forty-seven elderly HNSCC patients were evaluated in the present study. Patients were assessed as per stage and site of disease, general condition, performance status, and any pre-existing co-morbidities. Compliance was defined as patients who were able to complete cancer therapy as intended at primary clinic. Non-compliance to therapy was stratified as early, mid- and late-course non-compliance. Statistical analysis was done using STATA 9.1 software, chi-square/Fischer’s exact test to see strength of association between two categorical variables that could possibly affect compliance in elderly patients.
Sixty-eight per cent of elderly patients were subjected to radical treatment, majority (42/47) presented in loco-regionally advanced stage (III-IV), most common site of malignancy was oropharynx (21/47). Sixty-two per cent of elderly HNSCC patients were compliance to cancer therapy. Median overall treatment time for patients subjected to radical radiation therapy was 52 (range 47–99) days, and for radical surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy was 109 (95–190) days. Compliance to therapy for elderly HNSCC patients was not significantly associated with advanced stage, poor general condition, intent of treatment or presence of co-morbidity. As regards to non-compliance, majority (14/18) of elderly patients showed mid-course treatment non-compliance.
Nearly two-thirds of elderly head and neck carcinoma patients were compliant to cancer-directed therapy.
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