Project Title: The impact of patient factors on functional and clinical outcomes in non-smoking patients with head and neck cancer treated with primary surgery
Faculty Mentor’s Name: Dr. Peter Dziegielewski
Student’s name: David Nichols
Etiologic and prognostic predictors for head and neck cancer have been extensively reviewed. It is less clear, however, how patient factors such as BMI, cholesterol, blood pressure, and age affect outcomes in non-smoking patients after surgical treatment. The purpose of this study is to report the effects of patient factors on quality of life and functional outcomes after primary surgical treatment for head and neck cancer.
The poor prognosis and impact of treatment on pharyngeal tissues can make head and neck cancer challenging to treat. It can be difficult to predict functional outcomes, and they are overlooked in a majority of the literature. Factors such as swallowing ability, mouth/throat dryness, and speech function are important in predicting patient satisfaction and well-being. These, along with overall survival, can potentially be improved by identifying demographic and health maintenance predictors for patient success or failure.