Unravelling the risk factors that underlie oral and oropharyngeal surgery in elderly

G Molteni, S Valerini, M Alicandri-Ciufelli, A E Sprio, E Crosetti, G N Berta, L Presutti, G Succo

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Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) diagnoses in elderly patients are expected to double in the next 20 years. Current guidelines suggest surgery as a preferred approach, but elderly patients are hardly considered suitable to challenging surgical treatments. Using a multi-centric retrospective analysis, we evaluated the outcomes of 99 patients affected by OSCC and aged at least 70, who underwent to either transoral procedures (TP), open neck resection without (OR) or with reconstruction (ORR). In our cohort, overall survival was significantly hampered by concomitant diseases and postsurgical complications, whose development is driven by the former. Thus, our findings support the growing acceptance that chronological age alone should not be a sufficient contraindication for aggressive surgery in the treatment of OSCC. However, elderly patients affected by OSCC are undoubtedly delicate surgical candidates and accurate selection prior to surgery with curative intent is mandatory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-416
Number of pages8
JournalActa Otorhinolaryngologica Italica
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


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