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Abstract Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate and assess the demographical characteristics of patients diagnosed

with head and neck cancer at Howard University Hospital. As well as determining survival rates of patients with cancer in HNC based on therapy and cancer prevalence. Patients and Methods: Patients included were 18 and older diagnosed with histological confirmation of HNC. They also received platinum based chemotherapy, (either cisplatin or carboplatin), fluorouracil, cetuximab, radiation, or no treatment. Results: Ninety one patients met study criteria. The majority of patients were African American males. The mean age at diagnosis was 59.81 years with 61.54% diagnosed at Stage IV. Squamous cell carcinoma was most common and ~ 44% had a poor histological grade. Bivariably, individuals with Stage I HNC had a significantly lower hazard of death than Stage IV (HR = 0.314 P-value = 0.0272). BMI was inversely related with the hazard of death (HR = 0.921, P-value = 0.0095. Cancer staging and treatment modalities had no statistical difference on survival. The importance of medical research can not be understated. Through medical research new developments in care can emerge better aiding patients and alleviating pressure on hospital systems. Through research we can be able to critically evaluate and assess the strengths and weakness of our care plans in order to build the most effective plan for our patients "A research question is an explicit query about a problem or issue that can be challenged, examined, and analyzed and that will yield useful new information"(B r i n k , a n d Wo o d ). Research is conducted by a team working in cohesion in formulating answers to the research question in a conducive and ethical manner. In the hope to better establishing a better standard of living and care. Each member of the research team has a specific task which is then submitted to the primary investigator for review. My role in this active study pertaining to head and neck cancer was data collection and analyzation, with literature reviews on the subject. Literary reviews were conducted on studies pertaining to the prevalence of head and neck cancer in African Americans "An analytical approach to any literature review implies purposive reading .You read the literature for a particular purpose. So the first criterion for the critical review is usability, just as with research itself. Whether you plan to use the material for general background information or as a reference in your proposal , whether its a research report or a theoretical one, it must be practical"(B r i n k , a n d Wo o d ). Data collection was another task assigned to me which was derived from literary analysis "The goal of analysis is to summarize the data so that they provide answers to the research question. Your plan for data analysis is

derived from you question, your design, your method collection, and the level of measurement of your data"(B r i n k , a n d Wo o d ). Through literary and data collection of head and neck cancer among African Americans similarities and contrasts can be analyzed in formulating a cohesive care and plan structure. This student practicum plan will outline the course objects of the fall 2011 class for research practicum as it directly relates to the goals to be achieved in the field and the course. My goal for this research practicum is to be able to gain a better understanding of research practices. Which in turn will further aide me in being able to critically analyze further research studies, overall increasing my knowledge of new and improved care practices. Student plan for meeting course objective: Objectives -Upon completion of this course, student will be able to: 1. Critically evaluate research studies -Critique of two articles related to the research study. -Discussing and analyzing research literature of African Americans diagnosed with head and neck cancer. 2.Participate as an active member. -Conduct an extensive literature on research studies that relate to prevalence and treatment modalities among African-Americans and how it differs among other racial groups. Data and critique will be conducted and collected through literary reviews on the latest research studies relating to head and neck cancer pertaining to African Americans. -Construction and organization of a power point presentation using data collected in the study pertaining to African Americans. 3. Assume roles as research assistants with guidance from experienced investigator. - Weekly meetings with primary investigator in order to discuss literary reviews. -Preparing for submission to a medical journal as well as updating any statiscal information within the study. Reference

B r i n k , P a m e l a , a n d M a r i l y n n Wo o d . B a s i c S t e p s i n P l a n n i n g Nursing Research From Question to Proposal. 4. Boston : Jones and Barlett Publishers, 1994. Print.