Trends and regional variation in the incidence of head and neck cancers in England: 2002 to 2011

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Recent studies show an increased incidence of head and neck cancers worldwide. The present study evaluated the trend in the incidence of head and neck cancers in England during 2002–2011. Data were extracted from the database of Office for National Statistics. The study population was categorised according to age, residential area, gender and cancer sub-types. Overall trend in incidence of head and neck cancer and some subtypes were examined using Poisson regression models. In total, 71,457 head and neck cancers were registered in England between 2002 and 2011 and 68% of patients were males. Statistically significant increases in incidence of 27.0 and 32.4% were documented in males and females, respectively (p<0.001) with the largest increase in the 60+ age category. Potentially HPV-associated cancers, oral cavity cancers and laryngeal cancers increased by 47.1, 24.1 and 1.7% in males and 37.5, 25.5 and 7.7% in females, respectively (p<0.001). Regional differences were also noted with the highest incidence (18.0 and 17.0 per 100,000, respectively) in the North East and North West of England. Our results for England showed an increase in the incidence of both oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer in both genders, whilst laryngeal cancer incidence remained stable.

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