U.S. oral cancer deaths decline; education a factor

By DrBicuspid Staff

November 22, 2011 -- Mortality rates for U.S. patients with oral and pharyngeal cancer decreased from 1993 to 2007, according to a study in the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery (November 2011, Vol. 137:11, pp. 1094-1099).

The finding comes from an analysis of National Center for Health Statistics data on white and black men and women, ages 25 to 64, in 26 states, conducted by researchers from the Emory University School of Medicine.

The largest decreases in mortality rates were among black men and women with 12 years of education (-4.95% and -3.72%, respectively). Mortality rates for patients with oral cavity and pharynx cancers decreased significantly among men and women with more than 12 years of education, regardless of race/ethnicity (except for black women), whereas rates increased among white men with less than 12 years of education. Mortality trends varied substantially for human papillomavirus (HPV)-related and HPV-unrelated sites.

"We observed decreasing mortality rates for patients with oral cavity and pharyngeal cancer among whites and blacks; however, decreases were greatest among those with at least 12 years of education," the researchers concluded. "This difference in mortality trends may reflect the changing prevalence of smoking and sexual behaviors among populations of different educational attainment."

Copyright © 2011 DrBicuspid.com

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