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OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: As survival rates in oropharyngeal cancer improve, long-term functional outcomes are increasingly important to understand. We report long-term functional outcomes in a cohort of surviving patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma treated with primary surgery ± radiotherapy. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. METHODS: Patients undergoing primary surgery for oropharyngeal cancer in Oxford, United Kingdom, between 2000 and 2010 were identified. The University of Washington Quality-of- Life and MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory questionnaires were sent to all patients. Multivariate analysis was performed to determine the relationship between clinical factors and swallowing outcomes. RESULTS: Twenty percent of patients required gastrostomy-tube placement (mean feed duration, 114 days). On multivariate analysis, increased age, advanced T stage, and an open surgical approach were associated with significantly reduced quality-of-life scores. CONCLUSIONS: Mean functional scores were comparable to previously published series of patients treated with primary surgery. Gastrostomy insertion rate was lower than in many previously published studies. Furthermore, specific variables have been identified that are associated with adverse functional outcome.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1637 - 1643


Quality of life, head and neck, oropharynx, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell, Cross-Sectional Studies, Deglutition, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Laryngectomy, Male, Oropharyngeal Neoplasms, Prognosis, Quality of Life, Surveys and Questionnaires, Survival Rate, Time Factors, United Kingdom