HEAD AND NECK CANCER IN A DEVELOPING COUNTRY- A HOSPITAL BASED RETROSPECTIVE STUDY ACROSS 10 YEARS FROM PAKISTAN
Purpose: Head and neck cancers (HNC) are among the most common cancers in developing countries, especially in the Southeast Asia. Oral cavity is the most commonly affected site. The risk factors are tobacco, betel nut and alcohol. The dimensions of the disease are quite different in developing countries than the western world. Poor socioeconomic status, poverty, lack of healthcare facilities and illiteracy are the factors that pose a major challenge to the management of the disease. The aim of this study is to analyse the database that has been collected over a period of 10 years showing the trends of the disease and the management outcome of these individuals.
Methods: Men and women diagnosed with HNC from 2004 to 2014 from Cancer Registry Database of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre have been retrospectively analysed.
Results: In the 10 year period a total of 5027 patients presented to the head and neck clinic at our institution with a mean age + standard deviation of patients of 58.33 + 20.54. Oral cavity (42.6%) and larynx (13%) were the two most
common sites followed by the less frequent ones. Squamous cell carcinoma ranked as the most common histological type presented to our institute (69.2%), followed by basal cell carcinoma (6.6%), mucoepidermoid carcinoma (4%), adenoid cystic carcinoma (3.6%) and 1.9% adenocarcinoma.
Conclusions: Being a third world country, the burden of the disease on the healthcare system is enormous. With limited resources and funding, there is a need to train people in the speciality and develop the National Cancer Control
Program (NCCP) for better monitoring and disease control.
Key words: Developing country, head and neck cancer, health infrastructure
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