INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to evaluate the consistency between clinical and pathological staging in tongue cancer.
METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated 33 patients (24 male, 9 female; mean age 56±13 years; range, 31-87 years) who were admitted to the Şişli Hamidiye Etfal Training and Research Hospital Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Clinic and operated on for tongue cancer. The clinical stages were determined with physical examination and radiological findings. The consistency of the clinical stages with pathological stages was evaluated with Mc Nemar Analysis and Kappa test.
RESULTS: For tumor (T) stage, the clinical and pathological stage estimate was 60.6% compatible whereas for cervical lymph node (N) stage it was 54.5%. There was poor agreement between clinical and pathological stages.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: In order to make more accurate clinical staging and to overcome poor agreement between clinical and pathological staging, more detailed and additional radiological imaging with a comprehensive physical examination are required. Routine preoperative positron emission tomography scanning and radiological examination of the tumor by an expert head and neck radiologist and evaluation by a pathologist experienced in head and neck malignancies is recommended.