PhD Scientific Days 2022

Budapest, 6-7 July 2022

Clinical Medicine I. (Poster discussion will take place in the Aula during the Coffee Break)

Patient delay and its clinical significance among head and neck cancer patients in Hungary

1 Angéla Horváth
2 Kornél Dános

Text of the abstract

Head and neck cancers represent a major health problem in Hungary, with high incidence and mortality rates, Hungary is one of the world leaders in these indicators. The localization and stage of the tumor are crucial for patient survival, and it is also known that head and neck cancers are usually diagnosed at a late stage, which results in a poor prognosis. The length of patient delay, and time from onset of symptoms to first medical consultation, is unknown in Hungarian patients with head and neck cancer.
We aimed to use a representative sample of the Hungarian head and neck cancer patient population to determine patient delay according to disease localization and stage and to identify correlations with other clinical parameters.
In our retrospective study, we reviewed the patient documentation. All patients had to be diagnosed with malignant tumors of the oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx or larynx at the Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery of Semmelweis University between 2012-2017. Descriptive statistics and correlation analysis were performed to evaluate the data.
We identified 236 patients who met our criteria. 198 men and 38 women were screened. The mean age of patients at diagnosis was 61 years (range 40-92 years). The median delay was 9.5 weeks (range 0-209 weeks) and the mean delay of patients was 17.57 weeks (SD 23.67). There was a significant difference in patient delay data by location. There was a significant difference in leading symptoms between head and neck cancers of different localizations. Among glottic cancers, the most common diagnosis was an early stage (67%), however by oropharyngeal (81%) and hypopharyngeal (80%) cancer locoregionally advanced stage was more frequent. We found a significant association between stage and disease-specific survival for both T, N and M status. Significant correlation between tumor localization and survival was found.
Compared with data from abroad, the delay of Hungarian patients with head and neck cancer is longer, which may contribute to the high mortality in Hungary. Screening and patient education in high-risk groups could contribute to earlier diagnosis and thus improve prognosis.
Kornél Dános was supported by the Hungarian Talent Program, Individual Scholarship Award 2019 (NTP-NFTÖ-19-B-0045).