Comparing Survival of Oral Cancer Patients Before and After Launching of the Universal Coverage Scheme in Thailand

  • Sungwalee, Waraporn (Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Vatanasapt, Patravoot (Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Suwanrungruang, Krittika (Cancer Unit, Srinagarind Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Promthet, Supannee (Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University)
  • Published : 2016.07.01


Background: As the treatment modalities for oral cancer have been relatively consistent during the last two-decades, this study was conducted to compare survivals of oral cancer patients in Khon Kaen Province before and after the universal coverage scheme (UC) was launched in Thailand. Materials and Methods: The data were retrieved from the population-based cancer registry of Khon Kaen for oral cancer patients diagnosed during 1992-2001 (pre-UC), and 2004-2012 (post-UC). To compare survival of the two cohorts, Kaplan Meier and log rank tests were employed. Results: Of 1,196 patients, 65% were females and the median age was 65 years. The most common primary sites were lip (31.0%), tongue (29.9%), and buccal mucosa (14.6%). The proportion of early stage cancer increased from 20.4 % in pre-UC to 41.3% in post-UC. The overall 5-year survival rate was 36.5% (95% CI =32.6-40.9) for pre-UC and 32.4% (95% CI = 28.8-36.4) for post-UC. The declining survival was mainly due to an increasing proportion of tongue cancer. However, no survival improvement was demonstrated on subgroup analysis of the tongue cancer patients. Conclusions: After the universal coverage scheme had been launched, early diagnosis increased, but no significant gain in survival for oral cancer patients was achieved.


Survival;oral cancer;universal coverage scheme;Thailand


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