Trends in incidence and prognosis for head and neck cancer in the United States: A site-specific analysis of the SEER database

André Lopes Carvalho, Inês Nobuko Nishimoto, Joseph A. Califano, Luiz Paulo Kowalski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

545 Scopus citations


Despite recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of head and neck cancer, there has been little evidence of improvement in 5-year survival rates over the last few decades. To determine more accurate trends in site-specific outcomes as opposed to a more general overview of head and neck cancer patients, we analyzed the site-specific data collected in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results - SEER Public-Use Database 1973-1999. Based on the selection criteria, 96,232 cases were evaluated for trend analysis in incidence, clinical stage, treatment and 5-year survival. During the period 1973-1999, site-specific incidence rates for head and neck cancer changed significantly. Site-specific analysis of survival from 1974-1997 showed significant improvements in 5-year survival rates for cancers of the nasopharynx, oropharynx and hypopharynx (38.1% to 56.7% for nasopharynx, p <0.001; 36.3% to 49.1% for oropharynx, p = 0.001 and 28.3% to 33.3% for hypopharynx, p = 0.015). The prognosis for early-stage salivary gland cancer during 1983-1997 and late-stage larynx cancer during 1974-1997 also demonstrated improvement (82.7% to 88.5%, p = 0.012 and 22.2% to 38.3%, p = 0.013, respectively). On the other hand, the prognosis for regional stage oral cavity cancer as well as early-stage larynx cancer patients declined during 1983-1997 (49.2% to 43.8%, p = 0.032 and 82.3% to 74.3%, p = 0.002, respectively). Site-specific changes in treatment and staging were also noted. Site-specific analysis allows for a more accurate description of incidence, staging, treatment, and prognostic trends for head and neck cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)806-816
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2005


  • Clinical stage
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Incidence
  • Seer public-data
  • Survival
  • Treatment
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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