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Revista Médica del Uruguay

Print version ISSN 0303-3295On-line version ISSN 1688-0390


ALVAREZ ARIAS, Diego et al. Head and neck cancer in Uruguay. Survival analysis in two reference centers. Rev. Méd. Urug. [online]. 2018, vol.34, n.1, pp.42-63. ISSN 0303-3295.


head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) is the most prevalent cancer in otorhinolaryngology, being it the fifth cancer in terms of incidence in Uruguay and the sixth in male mortality. The study aims at analysing global survival in patients with head and neck cancer in two reference centers in Montevideo.


retrospective analysis of global survival of 436 patients diagnosed with HNSCC between 2005 and 2015. Survival was analysed with the Kaplan-Meier method with regard to the patients’ stage of cancer, topography, smoking and alcohol consumption. The Cox regression method was used to study the interaction of variables with potential importance in the prognosis.


in our series median global survival of patients with head and neck cancer is 35.8 months (23.5-48.1, CI 95%), it as higher for larynx cancer than that of the rest of the patients with cancer in other anatomic sites, 77.3 (49.4-105.2, CI 95%) versus 26.2 months (20.7 - 48.1, CI 95%, p < 0,001). There was no difference between the global survival of smokers and non-smokers. Non-alcohol consumers presented a better global survival than the group of alcohol consumers, 72.4 (39.1-105.7, CI 95%) versus 26.7 (19.9-33.6 CI 95%). The multivariable analysis identified stage of cancer and alcohol consumption as independent prognostic factors in our series.


median global survival in our series is similar to that reported in the international bibliography. Patients with larynx cancer evidence a longer survival than patients with cancer in other otorhinolaryngologic sites. As to classic risk factors, alcohol consumption has a negative impact on the survival of patients with head and neck cancer.

Keywords : Head and neck neoplasms; Tobacco use disorder; Alcoholism; Survivorship; Uruguay.

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