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Head and neck cancer demographics

Boyko Matev, Blagovesta Spasova, George Stoyanov, Deyan Dzhenkov, Nikolay Sapundziev


Introduction: Head and neck cancer (HNC) is a vast group of oncological conditions, which have as an origin various tissue types and organ localizations, situated in the topographical regions of the head and neck (H&N). This single institution retrospective study aims to establish the HNC patient demographics and categorize the separate instances of H&N malignancies, in regards to their organ of origin and main histopathological type and depict the demographics and incidence of the individ­ual entries.

Materials and methods: All histologically verified cases of HNC from the St. Marina University Hos­pital, Varna, Bulgaria - a tertiary referral center, were retrospectively reviewed in a descriptive man­ner. Data sampling period was 47 months, from September 2012 to July 2016.

Results: HNC Male to female ratio was 3.24:1. The mean age of diagnosis was 63.84 ± 12.65 years, me­dian 65 years. Common HNC locations are the larynx 30.37% (n = 188), lips and oral cavity 29.08% (n = 180), pharynx 20.03% (n = 124) and salivary glands 10.94% (n = 68), with the external nose, na­sal cavity and sinuses and auricle and external ear canal presenting a minority of the cases. The main histopathological groups include squamous cell carcinoma 76.74% (n = 475) and adenocarcinoma 6.14% (n = 38), other malignancies such as other epithelial malignancies, primary tonsillar, muco­sa-associated lymphoid tissue or parenchymal lymphomas, connective tissue neoplasias, neuroendo­crine and vascular malignancies make up a minority of the cases. Based on the collected data the an­nual incidence of HNC in the region is 17.16 per 100.000 capita.

Conclusion: Deemed to be of relatively low frequency (worldwide 3%- 5%, Bulgaria 4.41%), HNC rep­resents a varied group of oncological entities with individual and specific demographic characteris­tics.


head and neck; malignancies; cancer; oncological conditions; incidence in Bulgaria



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