The aim is to describe the association of functional capacity and cognitive functioning with 1-year mortality in older patients with cancer in the head and neck region.
We performed a cohort study in which all patients aged 70 years and older received a geriatric screening before treatment. Main outcome was 1-year mortality.
A total of 102 patients were included. Median age was 78.7 years (interquartile range [IQR], 72.3-84.5), 25% were cognitive impaired, 40% were malnourished, and 28.4% used a walking device. Overall, 1-year mortality was 42.3%. Male sex (hazard ratio [HR], 4.30; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.35-13.67), malnutrition (HR, 2.55; 95% CI, 1.19-5.16), and using a walking device (HR, 2.80; 95% CI 1.13-6.93) were associated with higher mortality risk, independent of stage and comorbidities.
In older patients with head and neck cancer, the mortality rates are high. Nutritional status and mobility are determinants of 1-year mortality, independent of tumor stage, age, and comorbidity.