Race and sex disparities in long-term survival of oral and oropharyngeal cancer in the United States

Nosayaba Osazuwa-Peters, Sean T. Massa, Kara M. Christopher, Ronald J. Walker, Mark A. Varvares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate the effect of race and sex on long-term survival of oral and oropharyngeal cancer. Methods: The Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database was queried for adult oral and oropharyngeal cancer patients with at least 25-year follow-up. Kaplan–Meier survival curves and cox proportional hazards model were used to identify differences. Results: Of the 22,162 patients identified, 70.3 % were males. Only 8.9 % were alive at 25 years post-diagnosis. Black males show the poorest overall and disease-specific survival rates (p < 0.001). After controlling for covariates, Blacks had a 40 % higher hazard of mortality compared with Whites (HR 1.40, 95 % CI 1.35–1.46), while females had a 9 % reduction in mortality risk (HR 0.91, 95 % CI 0.88–0.94). Conclusions: Overall and disease-specific survival is poor for oral and oropharyngeal cancer patients, and Black men fare worst. This illustrates the need for long-term cancer survival plans incorporating disparity effects in overall cancer outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-528
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Long-term survival
  • Oral cavity cancer
  • Oropharyngeal cancer
  • Outcomes
  • Racial and sex disparities

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