Delay between the initial symptoms, diagnosis, and the definitive treatment of head and neck cancers is associated with tumor progression and upstaging. These delays may lead to poor outcomes and may mandate more aggressive treatments with unnecessary morbidity and even mortality. The multidisciplinary team approach for the treatment of patients with head and neck cancers has improved organization of standard clinical guidelines, but this development has yet to translate into a demonstrable impact on survival. We review the association between waiting times (time between diagnosis and initiation of treatment) and clinical outcomes in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
- Head and neck cancer
- Waiting time