Background: Head and neck cancers are the most common cancers seen in the developing countries. The proportion of elderly population is rising all over the world and so are the cancers prevalent in this population. In the Indian subcontinent, 10% of all head and neck cancers are seen in the elderly. The present study attempts to analyse the patient demographics and management options practiced in head and neck cancer patients in geriatric patients.
Materials and methods: This is a retrospective study of all pathologically confirmed head and neck cancer patients more than 65 years of age presenting to the Radiation Oncology.
Results: A total of 469 elderly patients were treated between 2013 and 2016 in the department of radiation oncology, FMRI. Of these 67 patients were head and neck cancers. Majority (59%) presented in the age group of 65-70 years. Commonest site is oral cavity 25 (37%) followed by larynx 18 (27%), oropharynx 7 (11%) and hypopharynx 9 (13%). Only 17 (24%) patients had Stage I-II disease whereas 50 (75%) patients had Stage III-IV disease.
Conclusion: There is significant number of geriatric patients of head and neck cancers presenting to the hospital in the last 3 years. The present study underlines the importance of developing institutional management protocols for the geriatric head and neck cancer patients for optimal results.
Geriatric, elderly, head neck cancer, oral cancer