EPIDEMIOLOGY OF ORAL AND PHARYNGEAL CANCER
Nasser M. Baom and Gamal Abdul Hamid*
Oral cancer is a public health problem, representing the sixth most common malignant neoplasm. The annual estimated incidence is approximately 300,000 oral cancers; two thirds of these cases occur in developing countries. The incidence of oral cancers among men is highest in northern India, a few areas of central and eastern Europe and Latin America. Among women, the incidence is high in south and southeast Asia. In Asian countries the high incidence rates were reported from developing nations like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Taiwan and Sri Lanka. While an increasing trend has been observed in Pakistan, Taiwan and Thailand, a decreasing trend is seen in Philippines and Sri Lanka. Information on survival of patients with oral cancers was very restricted. Tongue cancers displayed the worst survival rates in Latin America, India and Yemen. Some countries shares specific risk factors namely heavy tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption and high intake of charcoal-grilled red meat and mate. In addition, other specific risk factors are viral infection (HPV), poor oral hygiene, chewing of betel-quid, gutka, Zarda, Kharra, snuff and Qat. Urgent public health measures are needed to reduce the incidence and mortality of oral cancer.
Keywords: Epidemiology, Oral cancer, Risk factors.
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