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Trends of human papillomavirus-related head and neck cancers in Korea: National cancer registry data

Authors

  • Aesun Shin MD, PhD,

    1. Molecular Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, Research Institute and Hospital, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Republic of South Korea
    2. Cancer Registration and Statistics Branch, Division of Cancer Registration and Surveillance, Research Institute and Hospital, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Republic of South Korea
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  • Yuh-S. Jung MD, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Head & Neck Oncology Clinic, Center for Thyroid Cancer, Research Institute and Hospital, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Republic of South Korea
    • Send correspondence to Yuh-S. Jung, MD, PhD, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Head and Neck Oncology Clinic, Center for Thyroid Cancer, Research Institute and Hospital, National Cancer Center, 809, Madu1-dong, Ilsan-gu, Goyang, Gyeonggi-do, 411–764, Republic of South Korea. E-mail: jysorl@ncc.re.kr

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  • Kyu-Won Jung MS,

    1. Cancer Registration and Statistics Branch, Division of Cancer Registration and Surveillance, Research Institute and Hospital, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Republic of South Korea
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  • Kyeezu Kim MPH,

    1. Molecular Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, Research Institute and Hospital, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Republic of South Korea
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  • Junsun Ryu MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Head & Neck Oncology Clinic, Center for Thyroid Cancer, Research Institute and Hospital, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Republic of South Korea
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  • Young-Joo Won PhD

    1. Cancer Registration and Statistics Branch, Division of Cancer Registration and Surveillance, Research Institute and Hospital, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Republic of South Korea
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  • This work was supported by National Cancer Center Grants, Republic of South Korea (NCC-1210220-1, 1010160). The authors have no other funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis

The incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive head and neck cancers (HNCs) is increasing sharply worldwide, while their HPV-negative counterparts are showing a decreased frequency. However, epidemiologic data related to these changes are sparse in Korea, which is rapidly adopting more westernized lifestyles.

Study Design

Data from the Korea Central Cancer Registry, a nationwide population-based cancer registry, from 1999 to 2009 were retrieved.

Methods

Age-standardized rates (ASRs), their annual percent changes (APC) and male-to-female incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were analyzed and compared between HPV-related and HPV-unrelated primary sites.

Results

HPV-related sites (oropharynx) had increased significantly over the period 1999 to 2009 (APC = 2.35%, P = 0.017), particularly in young men (30–59 years, APC = 2.65%, P = 0.031), whereas HPV-unrelated sites such as larynx and hypopharynx decreased markedly in both sexes. Interestingly, tongue cancer was found to have increased gradually (APC = 2.35%, P = 0.003) in both sexes. The male-to-female IRRs and the median age of occurrence remained stable.

Conclusions

Although the cultural and ethnic background differs from the United States, cancers of HPV-related sites are increasing in Korea, whereas cancers of HPV-unrelated sites are decreasing, which is similar to the trends observed in the United States. Greater public awareness in Korea of HPV-related HNCs is therefore warranted.

Level of Evidence

2b. Laryngoscope, 123:E30–E37, 2013

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