University of Oulu

Incidence, survival, diagnostic delays and prognostic factors in laryngeal cancer

Saved in:
Author: Teppo, Heikki1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Otorhinolaryngology
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: 2003
Publish Date: 2003-10-31
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, for public discussion in the Auditorium 7 of the University Hospital of Oulu, on October 31th, 2003, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Docent Heikki Minn
Docent Jukka Virtaniemi


Incidence trends of laryngeal cancer in Finland were analyzed, especially in relation to survival, in a patient series of 5766 patients diagnosed in 1956–1995 and identified from the Finnish Cancer Registry. The age-adjusted incidence rate decreased from 6.5 to 3.5 per 100 000 person-years in males and remained unchanged among females. Only minor improvement occurred in survival. In a hospital-based material from Northern Finland (353 patients with laryngeal squamocellular carcinoma, LSCC, diagnosed in 1976–1995), the incidence among males decreased only for supraglottic cancer, diminishing the supraglottic to glottic incidence ratio from 1.4:1 to 0.5:1.

Evaluation of diagnostic delays and their impact on survival and risk of recurrence was undertaken in a sample of 66 LSCC patients. In only 38% of the patients was malignancy suspected at the initial visit to a physician; infection was the most common misdiagnosis (41%). Half of the first consultations resulted in referral, whereas 17% of the patients were neither referred nor controlled. The median patient delay was 2 months and median professional delay 3 months. The latter exceeded 12 months in 17% of the patients. The delays were not significantly related to any other clinical parameter, nor were they interrelated. Professional delay of 12 months or more resulted in increased relative hazard of death (HR = 4.74, p = 0.05), equalling the effect of advanced stage (stage IV).

One-third of the patients developed a recurrence. In univariate analysis, professional delay of 12 months or more increased the risk of local (p = 0.019) and neck (p = 0.019) recurrence. In a multivariate model, professional delay of 12 months or more indicated an adjusted relative hazard ratio (HR) of 4.6 for local recurrence (p = 0.02) and 9.5 for neck recurrence (p = 0.015).

Immunohistochemical factors p53, apoptosis, angiogenesis and proliferation were included in a multivariate model evaluating prognostic factors of LSCC in addition to clinical and sociodemographic factors. Advanced stage (stages III–IV) (relative hazard ratio of death (HR) 8.9, p = 0.01), supraglottic site (HR 5.6, p = 0.02) and high apoptotic index (≥ 0.3) (HR 11.1, p = 0.05) were the best indicators of impaired prognosis.

Professional delay and enhanced apoptotic rate could be helpful in selecting LSCC patients for more aggressive primary treatment.

see all

Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. D, Medica
ISSN-E: 1796-2234
ISBN: 951-42-7126-2
ISBN Print: 951-42-7125-4
Issue: 749
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2003. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.