Incidence of head and neck cancer in children: A Danish nationwide study from 1978 to 2014

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



Pediatric head and neck malignancies are rare and only a few descriptive epidemiological studies have been published. Using unique nationwide registries, we report age-specific incidence rates of head and neck cancer (HNC) among children during four decades.


Data were obtained from the Danish Cancer Registry. We included children aged 0–14 years diagnosed between January 1, 1978 and December 31, 2014 with extra-orbital, nonskin and nonbone HNC. Patients were divided into nine groups in regard to tumor location: oral cavity, oropharynx, nasopharynx, hypopharynx, thyroid, major salivary glands, larynx, and middle ear. Based on the World Health Organization standard population and Danish age-specific population counts, age-adjusted incidence rates (AAIR) and average annual percentage change (AAPC) were calculated and examined for trends.


In total, 169 children (55.6% females) were registered with a malignant tumor in the head and neck region. The AAIR increased with an AAPC of 2.2% (95% CI, 0.8–3.7%). Females showed an AAIR of 0.54 per 100,000 person years compared to that of males, with 0.41 per 100,000 person years (P < 0.01). The AAIR was higher among children aged 10–14 years compared to 0–9-year-old children (P < 0.01). Based on morphology, a significant increase in AAIR was observed for sarcomas, with an increase of 0.16–0.27 per 100,000 person years (P < 0.05).


The incidence rate of pediatric HNC was higher among females and evidence of increasing rates was observed during 1978–2014, explained by an increase mainly in sarcomas.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles