OBJECTIVE: While the overall incidence rates of oral and pharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) have decreased in the United States, there is evidence of increasing incidence at selected anatomic sites, particularly among younger adults. The objective of this study was to examine trends in incidence rates of oral and pharyngeal cancers in Florida.
METHODS: Using data from the Florida Cancer Data System, we examined the incidence of oral and pharyngeal carcinomas in Florida from 1981 through 2008. Factors of interest included sex, race, and trends over time. Percent change (PC) and annual percent change (APC) were computed to characterize trends over time.
RESULTS: A total of 53,648 cases of oral or pharyngeal cancer were identified from 1981 through 2008. Significant increasing trends were observed only for pharyngeal cancers in males, with significant decreasing trends for pharyngeal cancer in females and oral cancer for both sexes. For tonsil and base of tongue cancers, increasing trends were detected for white males only. Further investigation among white males showed that, except for base of tongue cancer in the 20-44 age group, the incidence of both cancers increased across all age groups, with the largest increase for both sites found in the 45-64 age group.
CONCLUSIONS: This study supports the finding of increasing incidence of SCC of the tonsil and base of tongue in males, in contrast to decreasing trends for most oral and pharyngeal carcinomas. However, we observed that this increase occurred in white males only and the most dramatic increase occurred in the 45-64 age group.