Head and Neck Cancer in Australia between 1982 and 2005 show increasing incidence of potentially HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancers

Centre for Women's Health, Gender and Society, University of Melbourne, 2/723 Swanston Street, Carlton 3053, Victoria, Australia.
British Journal of Cancer (Impact Factor: 4.82). 02/2011; 104(5):886-91. DOI: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6606091
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Background:
Although tobacco- and alcohol-associated head and neck cancers are declining in the developed world, potentially human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated oropharnygeal cancers are increasing.

We analysed oropharyngeal and oral cavity cancer rates in Australia in 1982–2005. Cancers from the oropharynx (base of tongue, tonsil and other specific oropharyngeal sites) were classified as potentially HPV associated (n=8844); cancers in other oral cavity and oropharyngeal sites not previously associated with HPV were classified as comparison (n=28 379).

In 2000–2005, an average of 219, 159 and 110 cancers of the tonsil, base of tongue and other oropharyngeal sites were diagnosed annually, with incidences of 1.09 (95% CI: 1.03, 1.15), 0.79 (95% CI: 0.74, 0.84) and 0.55 (95% CI: 0.50, 0.59) per 100 000, respectively. An average of 1242 comparison cancers were diagnosed annually (6.17 (95% CI: 6.03, 6.31) per 100 000). In 1982–2005, there were significant annual increases in tonsil (1.39% (95% CI: 0.88, 1.92%)) and base of tongue cancers in males (3.02% (95% CI: 2.27, 3.78%)) and base of tongue cancer in females (3.45% (95% CI: 2.21, 4.70%)). There was a significant decrease in comparison cancers in men (−1.69% (95% CI: −1.96, −1.42%)), but not in females.

Potentially HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer in Australia is increasing; the impact of HPV vaccination on these cancers should be monitored.

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Available from: Jane Hocking, Jan 22, 2014
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    • "The overall incidence of head and neck cancers in USA has noticeably fallen in the recent years, consistent with the reduction in tobacco use in this region [13]. Potential HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer was reported to be increasing even in Australia [21]. The increased incidence of oropharyngeal cancer in USA was noted predominantly in young white males rather than females [13]. "
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