A multi-centre evaluation of oral cancer in Southern and Western Nigeria: An African oral pathology research consortium initiative
Introduction: Oral cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths among African populations. Lack of standard cancer registries and under-reporting has inaccurately depicted its magnitude in Nigeria. Development of multi-centre collaborative oral pathology networks such as the African Oral Pathology Research Consortium (AOPRC) facilitates skill and expertise exchange and fosters a robust and systematic investigation of oral diseases
Methods: in this descriptive cross-sectional study, we have leveraged the auspices of the AOPRC to examine the burden of oral cancer in Nigeria, using a multi-centre approach. Data from 4 major tertiary health institutions in Western and Southern Nigeria was generated using a standardized data extraction format and analysed using the SPSS data analysis software (version 20.0; SPSS Inc. Chicago, IL).
Results: Of the 162 cases examined across the 4 centres, we observed that oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) occurred mostly in the 6th and 7th decades
of life and maxillary were more frequent than mandibular OSCC lesions. Regional variations were observed both for location, age group and gender distribution. Significant regional differences was found between poorly, moderately and well differentiated OSCC (p value = 0.0071).
Conclusion: A multi-centre collaborative oral pathology research approach is an effective way to achieve better insight into the patterns and distribution of various oral diseases in men of African descent. The wider outlook for AOPRC is to employ similar approaches to drive intensive oral pathology research targeted at addressing the current morbidity and mortality of various oral diseases across Africa.