The treatment strategy for oral squamous cell carcinoma in Denmark has traditionally varied between the different head and neck oncology centres. A study group within the Danish Society for Head and Neck Oncology (DSHHO) was formed with the aim of optimising and standardising the treatment strategy. The approach was to use single modality treatment for stage I, stage II and some stage III and combined modality treatment for stage III and IV. Surgery was the preferred treatment when it was considered possible to perform a radical excision of the tumour and possible lymph node metastases with acceptable aesthetic and functional outcome. The implementation of a recognised national guideline facilitates prospective studies on a large well-characterised cohort. This increases the possibility of obtaining valid data on parameters such as morbidity, loco-regional control and survival. In addition the establishment of a reference program facilitates national monitoring of the treatment using defined indicators and standards.
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