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Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2006 Jul;20(1):1-8.

Mortality from oral and pharyngeal cancer in Brazil: trends and regional patterns, 1979-2002.

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Federal University of Santa Catarina, Department of Public Health, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil.



To investigate the trends and regional patterns in mortality from oral cancer and pharyngeal cancer in Brazil from 1979 through 2002.


Data were obtained from the Mortality Information System (Sistema de Informações sobre Mortalidade) database, which is compiled by the Ministry of Health of Brazil. Mortality rates were adjusted by gender and age. The Prais-Winsten generalized linear regression procedure was used to calculate the annual increase or decrease in mortality rates. The time trends for mortality due to oral cancer and to pharyngeal cancer were analyzed by specific anatomical site and by region of the country (North, Northeast, South, Southeast, and Center-West).


In all five regions of Brazil over the period studied, oral cancer mortality remained stable for both genders, but pharyngeal cancer mortality increased for both genders. Mortality from cancer affecting the lips, tongue, gums, mouth floor, palate, other parts of the mouth, and tonsils showed a statistically significant decrease over the period. However, mortality from cancer affecting the oropharynx, hypopharynx, and ill-defined and undefined sites of the oral cavity and the pharynx showed a significant increase. Mortality rates for both oral cancer and pharyngeal cancer were higher in the South and Southeast regions of the country than in Brazil's three other regions.


The relatively larger decrease in mortality from cancer affecting the lips, gums, and other anatomical sites more easily accessible to clinical inspection suggests a possible link between oral and pharyngeal cancer survival and an improved provision of health care services in Brazil in recent decades.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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