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Malnutrition in oral cancer patients leads to poor response to treatment and reduced quality of life. The present study assessed the nutritional status of patients treated for oral squamous cell carcinoma and evaluated the need for implementation of any institutional protocol regarding the type of nutritional intervention employed for these patients. Patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma who had undergone primary tumor resection with or without neck dissection and reconstruction from June 2015 to June 2018 were evaluated. Of the patients with complete data recalled for review, only 25 reported to our Institute, including 12 who had undergone surgery alone and 13 who had undergone surgery plus adjuvant radio and/or chemotherapy. Their nutritional status was assessed by measuring their Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) scores, and MNA scores in the groups that underwent surgery alone and surgery plus adjuvant therapy compared by independent sample ‘t’ tests. Of the 12 patients who underwent surgery alone, eight had normal nutritional status, and four were at risk of malnutrition. Of the 13 patients who underwent surgery plus adjuvant therapy, only one had normal nutritional status, whereas 12 were at risk of malnutrition or malnourished. Mean MNA score was significantly higher in patients who had undergone surgery alone than in patients who had undergone surgery plus adjuvant therapy (p=.001). Risk of malnutrition was higher in patients who underwent surgery plus adjuvant therapy than in patients who underwent surgery alone. Postoperative care of patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma should include nutritional management to improve patient prognosis and quality of life.
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