Emerging Trends in the Epidemiological Pattern of Head and Neck Cancers in Lagos, Nigeria
Background: Unfortunately, despite an increase in medical knowledge, survival rates of head and neck cancers (HNCs) have not been observed to improve greatly. This is true, especially in tumors located in obscure primary sites or late presentation.
Aim: The purpose of this study is to assess the epidemiologic pattern of HNCs and to evaluate its emerging trends and patterns in Lagos state.
Subjects and Methods: A retrospective study was conducted from 2003 to 2013 that analyzed histologically diagnosed cases of HNC at the Pathology Departments of he two tertiary teaching hospitals in Lagos. Data analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (version 20) statistical software.
Results: One thousand and eighty‑three cases of head and neck malignancies were recorded. A female: male ratio of 1.01:1 was reported with mean age of 39.6 (standard deviation 21.1) years. The oral cavity was the most affected anatomic site (21.2%, 230/1083) in the period under review. Malignant epithelial tumors accounted for 72% (779/1083) of cases seen. Carcinomas were the most common histological variant seen (67%, 726/1083) and squamous cell carcinoma accounted for 58% (421/726) of carcinomas recorded. Oral cavity malignancies (21.8%, 118/540) were the most common in males while thyroid malignancies (28.5%, 155/543) were the most seen in females. In children (≤15 years), the most common histologic findings were carcinomas (42.3%; 77/182) and retinoblastomas (23.6%; 43/182).
Conclusion: Epithelial malignancies were the most common malignancy in the study, and the oral cavity appears to be the increasingly predominant site for HNCs. A changing pattern in gender predominance, age distribution, and frequency with histological variants and anatomical sites was also observed in this study.
Keywords: Epidemiology, Head and neck cancer, Prevalence