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Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2000 Aug;28(4):249-56.

Trends in oral cancer rates in the United States, 1973-1996.

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1
Department of Stomatology, University of California San Francisco, 94143-0422, USA. caro@nanook.ucsf.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To explore changes in demographic distribution, incidence and survival rates of oral cancer in the United States from 1973 through 1996.

METHODS:

From the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data, we computed the proportion of oral cancer by demographic characteristics, site, and stage at diagnosis for 1973-84 and 1985-96. We estimated incidence and 5-year relative survival rates of oral cancer by age, gender, and race/ethnicity, and compared survival rates between the two periods. The estimated annual percent change (EAPC) was used to explore trends in incidence rate from 1973 through 1996.

RESULTS:

Most of the tongue and floor of mouth cancers (>54%) reported during 1973-84 and 1985-96 had spread to a distant site at time of diagnosis. The age-adjusted annual incidence rates of oral cancer decreased among white men from 1973 through 1996, but increased among black men aged 65-69 years, and among young white men (aged 30-34 years) and women (aged 25-29 years). These changes in trend were all statistically significant (testing EAPC=0 at the 0.05 level). Overall, there was no improvement in the 5-year relative survival rate of either whites or blacks with oral cancer.

CONCLUSION:

There was little change in early detection of oral cancer or in 5-year relative survival rates between 1973-84 and 1985-96 in nine SEER regions. This suggests a deficiency in professional and public education regarding early diagnosis of oral cancer. Furthermore, the increasing trend of oral cancer among older black men and among younger whites merits further investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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