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Oral Oncol. 2001 Jun;37(4):345-50.

Trends and spatial distribution of oral cancer mortality in São Paulo, Brazil, 1980-1998.

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School of Dentistry, University of São Paulo, Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes, 2227, 05508-900, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


We assessed oral cancer mortality data in São Paulo to study trends of the disease and its distribution by areas of the city. We standardized death rates by gender and age group, and also supplied complementary information regarding oral cancer incidence. Oral cancer mortality remained stationary at high levels during the study period. Site-specific death rates revealed high figures for two categories of site: tongue and unspecified parts of mouth. Gum cancer death rates--the most easily diagnosed site-specific oral cancer at a routine dental examination--fell sharply, possibly as a consequence of the recent expansion in community dental health services in the city. In spite of this observation, the increase of death rates related to unspecified parts of the mouth points to the deficiencies of health services in detecting most of oral cancer cases early. Spatial data analysis enabled indication of areas and socio-economic factors associated with poorer profile in oral cancer mortality, important information for the targeting of health resources directed to the screening, prevention and education in oral cancer.

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