Racial disparity and prognosis in patients with mouth and oropharynx cancer in Brazil

Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2022 Apr 3:25334. doi: 10.4317/medoral.25334. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Oral and oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Populations in situations of social vulnerability tend to have higher incidences of cancer, a higher proportion of late diagnosis, greater difficulties in accessing health services, and, consequently, worse prognosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between race/skin color and OPC prognosis in Brazil.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This is a cross-sectional epidemiological study using OPC data from the National Cancer Institute between the years 2000 and 2019. The selected variables were: gender, race/skin color, age, education, smoking and alcohol consumption, stage of the disease and disease status at the end of the 1st treatment.

RESULTS: 154,214 cases were recorded. Black men, in the 6th decade of life, were the most affected population. Blacks had a lower level of education when compared to non-blacks (p<0.001). Blacks were more exposed to smoking and alcohol consumption (p<0.001). At the time of diagnosis, the black population was at the most advanced stage when compared to non-blacks (p<0.001). At the end of the 1st treatment, more black patients had disease in progression, as well as more black patients died (p<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Blacks had a worse prognosis for OPC in Brazil. Despite the limitations, these results are important to elucidate the scenario of health disparities in relation to the race/skin color of the Brazilian population.

PMID:35368007 | DOI:10.4317/medoral.25334