Malignant tumors of the upper aerodigestive tract as seen in a Nigerian tertiary health institution

  • D Sabageh
  • TO Solaja
  • BJ Olasode
Keywords: Malignant tumors, Nigeria, upper aerodigestive tract


Background: Cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract constitute a diverse heterogeneous group of malignant neoplasms with unique epidemiological, pathological, and treatment considerations. Only few studies have been conducted so far on these tumors in Nigeria. This study aims to study in greater detail, the pathological features of these cancers in Nigerian patients.
Materials and Methods: The surgical specimens of patients diagnosed with malignant tumors of the upper aerodigestive tracts in the Department of Morbid Anatomy and Forensic Medicine, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC) in Ile‑Ife, Nigeria, over a 10‑year period, formed the basis of this study. Analysis was done for differences in proportion using the Chi‑square test (P is significant at < 0.05) by SPSS version 15.
Results: There were a total of 62 cases. The overall mean age was 50.7 years, while the age range was from 3 years to 90 years. The male to female ratio was 3.1:1. A majority of the patients (67.7%) were older than 40 years. About 30.6, 27.4, and 16.1% of cases occurred in the larynx, nasopharynx, and nasal cavity, respectively, while 93.5% of the tumors were carcinomas. Squamous cell carcinoma was the most common histological variety. Nonepithelial tumors were not seen below the age of 20 years.
Conclusion: This study shows that malignant upper aerodigestive tract tumors seen in our environment are mainly diseases of adulthood that tend to occur about seven to nine years earlier than in other populations. Squamous cell carcinoma is the predominant histological variety. Although the larynx is the most frequent anatomic site, the nasopharynx and nasal cavity are more commonly affected than the oral cavity unlike in other populations. Nonepithelial tumors are extremely rare below the age of 20 years.

Key words: Malignant tumors, Nigeria, upper aerodigestive tract


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1119-3077