Document Detail

Age standardized incidence rates of oral cancer in South Africa, 1988-1991.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9462036     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
While numbers of papers on oral cancer in South Africa have been published, there have been very few studies on standardized morbidity rates. This paper has developed data collected by the National Cancer Registry from the entire country for the four year period 1988-1991 to present frequency, age standardized incidence rates (ASIRs) and life-time risk (LR) for histologically-diagnosed intra-oral cancers in female and male Asian, black, coloured and white South Africans. During this period 5396 cases of oral cancer were diagnosed in a total number of 157,307 cancer cases (3.4 per cent) excluding squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BSC) of the skin. Intra-oral cancer in all South African females and males accounted, respectively, for 1.8 per cent and 5.0 per cent of all cancers. There was a male preponderance in black, coloured and white groups but females were affected more frequently than men among Asians. The incidence in Asian women (6.66) was higher than those of the women in any of the other population groups, whereas the lowest incidence was found in black women (1.75). The incidence rate in coloured men was particularly high (13.13) whereas the incidence in white males (8.06) was not substantially lower than among black males (9.05). Differences between the eight groups were not significant (X2 = 6.24, df = 3, p > 0.1). The Cumulative Life Time Risk (LR) of developing intra-oral cancer for males and females in the four population groups ranged from 1:65 in coloured males to 1:455 for black females. Gender differences in LR in both black and coloured groups, signals substantial differences in exposure to known carcinogens for this disease. It is disturbing to note that the incidence in the period 1988-1991 was higher in Indian women that it was in 1964-1966, and that educative preventive measures have failed. Similarly, the incidence of intra-oral cancer in coloured men of 13.13 is substantially higher than the figure of 8.8 reported in 1979. If this is an accurately reflected trend, then a major educative programme needs to be pursued in this direction if the relative risk of one in 65 is to be reduced.
J J Hille; M Shear; F Sitas
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of the Dental Association of South Africa = Die Tydskrif van die Tandheelkundige Vereniging van Suid-Afrika     Volume:  51     ISSN:  0011-8516     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Dent. Assoc. S. Afr.     Publication Date:  1996 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-03-26     Completed Date:  1998-03-26     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505600     Medline TA:  J Dent Assoc S Afr     Country:  SOUTH AFRICA    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  771-6     Citation Subset:  D    
Department of Oral Pathology, University of the Western Cape, Johannesburg.
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MeSH Terms
Age Distribution
Age of Onset
Aged, 80 and over
Child, Preschool
Middle Aged
Mouth Neoplasms / epidemiology*
Sex Distribution
South Africa / epidemiology

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