September 2008

Volume 25, Issue 3

International variation in the incidence of oral and pharyngeal cancer

Authors: E. M. O’Sullivan
doi: 10.1922/CDH_2229O’Sullivan06


Objective: An accurate epidemiological profile is a crucial component of any cancer strategy. The ongoing development of populationbased cancer registries provides an invaluable information resource in this regard. Examination of international incidence levels indicates substantial geographical variation. This study assesses the precise extent of such variation. Basic Research Design: The age-standardised rates (ASRs) for oral and pharyngeal cancer (OPC) were analysed for 183 registries in the IARC/WHO publication CIFC - Volume VII. Results: The median annual age-standardised incidence rates were mouth (2.3 per 100,000), tongue (2.0), lip (1.2), and salivary gland (0.6); the corresponding female rates were mouth (0.8), tongue (0.7), salivary gland (0.4) and lip (0.2). A substantial level of heterogeneity existed between registries in most instances. In the case of males, the highest ASR and the inter-quartile range of ASRs were as follows – mouth (highest rate of 12.4 per 100,000; IQR 1.4 to 3.6), tongue (max. 8.0; IQR 1.1 to 2.9), lip (max. 13.5; IQR 0.3 to 2.4) and salivary gland (max. 4.2; IQR 0.4 to 0.8). Corresponding statistics for females were also recorded. Comb graphs are used to highlight the significance of specific geographical-based trends and putative aetiological factors explored. Conclusions: This study reveals substantial international variation in the incidence rates of OPC, with up to 20-fold variation between countries in annual incidence rates for individual sites. The novel presentational technique makes this information readily accessible to non-specialists and highlights the need for disaggregation in future OPC studies. Key Words: Age-standardised rates, CIFC, epidemiology, geographical based trends, international incidence rates, oral and pharyngeal cancer, variation.


Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Editorial - Research on oral health and the quality of life – a critical overview 130-131 Download
Comparison of two methods in deriving a short version of oral health-related quality of life measure. 132-136 Download
Oral health and its impact on the life quality of homeless people in Hong Kong 137-142 Download
The presenting complaints of low income adults for emergency dental care: An analysis of 35,000 episodes in Victoria, Australia. 143-147 Download
International variation in the incidence of oral and pharyngeal cancer 148-153 Download
Caries prevalence in 2-year-old children in the city of Zurich 154-160 Download
Association between breastfeeding duration and non-nutritive sucking habits 161-165 Download
I want braces: factors motivating patients and their parents to seek orthodontic treatment. 166-169 Download
Cariogenic and erosive potential of the medication used by HIV-infected children: pH and sugar concentration 170-172 Download
Prevalence of breath malodour in 7-11 year old children living in Middle Anatolia, Turkey. 173-177 Download
Enamel fluorosis in 12- and 15-year-old school children in Costa Rica. Results of a National Survey, 1999 178-184 Download
Restorative treatment threshold reported by Iranian dentists 185-190 Download
Short Communication - Fissure sealants on permanent first molars – consequences of a one-year delay 191-192 Download


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