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Indian J Palliat Care. 2018 Oct-Dec;24(4):446-450. doi: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_91_18.

Early Competing Deaths in Locally Advanced Head-and-Neck Cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Radiation Oncology, St. John's Medical College and Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
2
Department of Biostatistics, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.

Abstract

Introduction:

The competing (noncancer) deaths have increased with aggressive treatment approach and better disease control in locally advanced head-and-neck cancer.

Aim:

The aim of this study is to find incidence, cause and predictors of early competing mortality in locally advanced head-and-neck cancer patients undergoing combined modality therapy.

Subjects and Methods:

In this retrospective study, a total of 125 locally advanced head-and-neck patients treated from January 2013 to June 2017 were analyzed. The total number of deaths, cause, and the time of death from the start of therapy was recorded. To study the risk factors of competing deaths, univariate and multivariate logistic regression was applied. Data were analyzed using SPSS v. 24 software.

Results:

A total of 51 deaths (31 cancer deaths and 20 competing deaths) recorded at a median follow-up of 16 months (1-62 months). The incidence of early competing mortality was 12% (n = 15) with a median time of 2.7 months from treatment initiation. Sepsis was major cause of early competing death (n = 13). On univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis, competing death was significantly associated with pharyngeal (oropharynx, hypopharynx, and larynx) site primary (odds ratio [OR] = 3.562; 95% confidential interval [CI] = 1.207-10.517; P = 0.016), and Stage IVA/IVB disease (OR = 5.104; 95% CI = 1.123-23.202; P = 0.021).

Conclusion:

Competing deaths is one of the multifaceted problems in locally advanced head-and-neck cancer patients. Sepsis being single most cause of early competing deaths in Stage IVA/IVB pharyngeal and laryngeal cancer.

KEYWORDS:

Combined modality therapy; competing death; head-and-neck cancer; noncancer death; sepsis

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