Racial disparities in oropharyngeal cancer survival

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26 Scopus citations


Background Oropharyngeal cancer is an important cause of mortality and morbidity. Several studies have revealed racial disparities in head and neck cancer outcomes. The goal of our study was to evaluate the impact of race on survival in patients with oropharyngeal cancer, using a large population-based cancer database. Materials and methods This was a retrospective cohort study. Data were extracted from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) 18 Database of the National Cancer Institute. The study cohort included patients diagnosed with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma between 2004 and 2012. The outcomes of interest were overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS). Results After adjusting for age, sex, marital status, tumor site, and year of diagnosis, black race was associated with worse OS (HR 1.67, p < 0.0001) and DSS (HR 1.67, p < 0.0001). Conclusion Black race is associated with worse survival in patients with oropharyngeal cancer. Further research is needed to elucidate the mechanism by which race impacts survival in oropharyngeal cancer. This may reveal potential areas of opportunity for public health interventions aimed at addressing disparities in cancer outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-37
Number of pages5
JournalOral Oncology
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Head and neck cancer
  • Health status disparities
  • Minority health
  • Oropharynx cancer
  • Social determinants of health


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