Comparison of oropharyngeal and oral cavity squamous cell cancer incidence and trends in New Zealand and Queensland, Australia

Elwood, J. Mark, Youlden, Danny, Chelimo, Carol, Ioannides, Sally, & Baade, Peter (2014) Comparison of oropharyngeal and oral cavity squamous cell cancer incidence and trends in New Zealand and Queensland, Australia. Cancer Epidemiology: the international journal of cancer epidemiology, detection and prevention, 38(1), pp. 16-21.

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Increases in the incidence of squamous cell oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) have been reported from some countries, but have not been assessed in Australia or New Zealand. This study examines trends for squamous cell OPC and squamous cell oral cavity cancer (OCC) in two similarly sized populations, New Zealand and Queensland, Australia.


Incidence data for 1982–2010 were obtained from the respective population-based cancer registries for squamous cell OPC and OCC, by subsite, sex, and age. Time trends and annual percentage changes (APCs) were assessed by joinpoint regression.


The incidence rates of squamous cell OPC in males in New Zealand since 2005 and Queensland since 2006 have increased rapidly, with APCs of 11.9% and 10.6% respectively. The trends were greatest at ages 50–69 and followed more gradual increases previously. In females, rates increased by 2.1% per year in New Zealand from 1982, but by only 0.9% (not significant) in Queensland. In contrast, incidence rates for OCC decreased by 1.2% per year in males in Queensland since 1982, but remained stable for females in Queensland and for both sexes in New Zealand. Overall, incidence rates for both OCC and OPC were substantially higher in Queensland than in New Zealand. In males in both areas, OPC incidence is now higher than that of OCC.


Incidence rates of squamous cell OPC have increased rapidly in men, while rates of OCC have been stable or reducing, showing distinct etiologies. This has both clinical and public health importance, including implications for the extension of human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination to males.

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11 citations in Scopus
9 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 88736
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: HPV, Oral cancer, Oropharyngeal cancer, Epidemiology, Trends, Incidence
DOI: 10.1016/j.canep.2013.12.004
ISSN: 1877-7821
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Deposited On: 29 Oct 2015 23:30
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2017 22:01

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