Oropharyngeal Cancer Incidence, Mortality Up Among U.S. Men

Geographic differences seen, with notable rises in the Midwest and Southeast

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THURSDAY, Dec. 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) continues to increase nationally among U.S. men, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Haluk Damgacioglu, Ph.D., from UTHealth Science Center at Houston, and colleagues used the U.S. Cancer Statistics dataset to examine OPC incidence trends from 2001 through 2017.

The researchers found that nationally, there were 260,182 OPC cases, with 80 percent occurring in men, 65 percent at a regional stage, and 55 percent occurring in the Southeast and Midwest regions. Among men, the incidence of OPC increased nationally 2.7 percent per year, particularly among non-Hispanic White men and in men ages 65 years and older (more than 3 percent per year). Additionally, the most pronounced increases were clustered in the Southeast and Midwest regions (>3.5 percent per year). Among women, the annual percentage change was 0.5 percent. Among men, regional-stage OPC incidence increased nearly twofold versus 1.0 percent per year in women. OPC incidence-based mortality increased among men 2.1 percent per year from 2006 to 2017, while there was a 1.2 percent decrease in women.

"The notable rise in regional-stage OPC and the concurrent recent rise in mortality among men is troubling and calls for urgent improvements in prevention," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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