To describe smoking and alcohol consumption trends in patients with oral cavity cancer over the past 25 years.
Retrospective cohort study.
Single-institution tertiary care cancer center.
Patients with oral cancer treated primarily with surgery from 1985 to 2009. Patients with previous head and neck cancer were excluded.
Main Outcome Measures
The medical records of 1617 patients were reviewed. Patient demographics and details on smoking and alcohol consumption were recorded. Patients were divided in 5 different cohorts according to the year of initial surgery.
There were no differences in sex, age, or stage of disease among cohorts. Oral tongue was the most common subsite (49%). There was a progressive decrease in tobacco use; 80% in cohort 1 vs 60% in cohort 5 (P < .001). A decrease in the daily amount of tobacco used was also found; 55% of patients in cohort 1 smoked more than 1 pack per day compared with 30% in cohort 5 (P < .001). Alcohol consumption decreased from 80% in cohort 1 to 67% in cohort 5 (P < .007). The percentage of patients who consumed more than 3 drinks per day decreased from 23% in cohort 1 to 9% in cohort 5 (P < .001).
Over the past 25 years there has been a progressive decrease in the prevalence of tobacco and alcohol users in patients with oral cancer.