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Eur J Cancer. 2012 Oct;48(15):2369-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2012.05.003. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

Trends in sinonasal cancer in The Netherlands: more squamous cell cancer, less adenocarcinoma. A population-based study 1973-2009.

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  • 1VGZ Health Insurance Company, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.



Cancer of the nasal cavity or the paranasal sinuses (sinonasal cancer) is rare. Sinonasal cancer has been associated with various occupational risk factors such as exposure to dust of hard wood and leather. Also, a relationship with smoking habits has been suggested. We studied the long term trends in incidence to evaluate a putative effect of past preventive measures or changes in risk factors.


A retrospective population-based descriptive study.


To interpret the long term trends in incidence of sinonasal cancer in The Netherlands.


Data of all 3329 patients >15 years registered during 1989-2009 by the Netherlands Cancer Registry (NCR) were analysed, by data of 447 patients registered by the Eindhoven Cancer Registry (ECR) during 1973-2009 were analysed separately. Information on patients and tumour characteristics was obtained from both registries. The incidence was calculated per 1,000,000 person years and standardised using the European Standard Population.


Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) was the most prominent histological type (48%), followed by adenocarcinoma (15%) and melanoma (8%). SCC was more frequently located in the nasal cavity or sinus maxillaris, but adenocarcinoma was more located in the ethmoid sinus. The male incidence increased during 1973-1995 with a peak of 15/1,000,000/year, decreasing since then to 11/1,000,000/year due to a declining incidence of both SCC and adenocarcinoma. In females the incidence remained stable around 5/1,000,000/year up to 2006 and increased to 7.5/1,000,000 in 2009 as a result of more SCC. The male/female ratio for SCC decreased from 2.7 to 2.0, and for adenocarcinoma from 3.4 to 2.8 since 1989.


The higher incidence in males and the different trends in incidence in males and females may reflect differences in previous exposure to risk factors. Adenocarcinoma, related to occupational exposures, tend to decline. The trends in both male and female sinonasal SCC are comparable with the trends in lung cancer.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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