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Keywords:

  • incidence;
  • lip cancer;
  • oral cancer;
  • oro-pharyngeal cancer;
  • Portugal;
  • trends

Objectives

To analyse the trends and patterns of lip, oral and oro-pharyngeal cancer incidence in Portugal between 1998 and 2007.

Patients and Methods

Data on lip, oral and oro-pharyngeal cancers was collected from the databases maintained at the three main Regional Cancer Registries of Portugal (1998–2007). The data were analysed by gender, age and by site. Incidence rates were age standardized by the direct method, and joinpoint regression was used to estimate trends in incidence.

Results

During this 10-year period, a total of 9623 cases of lip, oral and oropharynx cancers were reported, 7565 (78.6%) in males and 2058 (21.4%) in females. There was an increase in the age-standardized incidence of oral cancers by 1.96% per year for both sexes grouped together and an increase of 4.34% per year for the female group. Oro-pharyngeal cancer showed an increase incidence trend of 3.49% per year for both sexes grouped together and an increase of 3.49% per year for male group among the sites analysed. Lip cancer showed a decrease in its incidence rate.

Conclusion

In view of rising trends, it is necessary to implement policies on oral cancer control by initiating campaigns on oral cancer awareness and screening and to harness political measures on tobacco and alcohol control for the Portuguese population.