Trends of oral and pharyngeal cancer in Israel, by gender, age, ethnic group, and country of origin: 1970-2006

Avraham Zini*, Rakefet Czerninski, Yuval Vered, Alon Livny, Harold D. Sgan-Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Oral and pharyngeal cancer is one of the few life-threatening oral diseases. Israel is recognized as a developed country, characterized by a heterogeneous population, a high level of sun exposure, and a large proportion of faired skinned inhabitants. The purpose of this study was to describe trends in incidence and survival rates of oral and pharyngeal cancer between 1970 and 2006. Methods: The incidence and survival data were derived from the Israel National Cancer Registry between 1970 and 2006. Oral and pharyngeal cancer included cancers of the lips, tongue, oral mucosa, floor of the mouth, major salivary glands and pharynx. Results indicated trends, survival rates and associations by ethnicity, country of origin, age, and gender. Results: The average age-world-standardized incidence rate, ASR(W), per 100 000, in 2001-2006 was 5.77 and 3.75 for Jews, and 5.99 and 2.30 for Arabs (males and females, respectively). The lip was the most common oral cancer site (36.8%). Over time, the rate (per 100 total cancer cases) decreased from 3.1 to 2.0, and male:female ratio decreased from 1.7 to 1.3. Kaplan-Meier survival plots demonstrated that patients under the age of 20 years had almost half the survival rate of older groups and lip cancer had almost twice the survival rate than other sites. Conclusions: Israel represents a developed country with relatively low percentage of alcohol consumption and high sun exposure. Data from this region demonstrated dissimilar distributions in comparison with other 'Westernized' countries. Public health programs need to utilize the present data in order to implement preventive strategies. Potential focus on specific high-risk populations should be investigated.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)547-554
Number of pages8
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Cancer statistics
  • Dental epidemiology
  • Ethnicity
  • Oral and pharyngeal cancer
  • Oral health


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