Heterogeneity in head and neck cancer incidence among black populations from Africa, the Caribbean and the USA: Analysis of cancer registry data by the AC3

Aviane Auguste, Samuel Gathere, Paulo S. Pinheiro, Clement Adebamowo, Adeola Akintola, Kellie Alleyne-Mike, Simon G. Anderson, Kimlin Ashing, Fred Kwame Awittor, Baffour Awuah, Bernard Bhakkan, Jacqueline Deloumeaux, Maira du Plessis, Ima Obong A. Ekanem, Uwemedimbuk Ekanem, Emmanuel Ezeome, Nkese Felix, Andrew K. Gachii, Stanie Gaete, Tracey GibsonRobert Hage, Sharon Harrison, Festus Igbinoba, Kufre Iseh, Evans Kiptanui, Ann Korir, Heather Dawn Lawson-Myers, Adana Llanos, Daniele Luce, Dawn McNaughton, Michael Odutola, Abidemi Omonisi, Theresa Otu, Jessica Peruvien, Nasiru Raheem, Veronica Roach, Natasha Sobers, Nguundja Uamburu, Camille Ragin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Africa and the Caribbean are projected to have greater increases in Head and neck cancer (HNC) burden in comparison to North America and Europe. The knowledge needed to reinforce prevention in these populations is limited. We compared for the first time, incidence rates of HNC in black populations from African, the Caribbean and USA. Methods: Annual age-standardized incidence rates (IR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) per 100,000 were calculated for 2013–2015 using population-based cancer registry data for 14,911 HNC cases from the Caribbean (Barbados, Guadeloupe, Trinidad & Tobago, N = 443), Africa (Kenya, Nigeria, N = 772) and the United States (SEER, Florida, N = 13,696). We compared rates by sub-sites and sex among countries using data from registries with high quality and completeness. Results: In 2013–2015, compared to other countries, HNC incidence was highest among SEER states (IR: 18.2, 95%CI = 17.6–18.8) among men, and highest in Kenya (IR: 7.5, 95%CI = 6.3–8.7) among women. Nasopharyngeal cancer IR was higher in Kenya for men (IR: 3.1, 95%CI = 2.5–3.7) and women (IR: 1.5, 95%CI = 1.0–1.9). Female oral cavity cancer was also notably higher in Kenya (IR = 3.9, 95%CI = 3.0–4.9). Blacks from SEER states had higher incidence of laryngeal cancer (IR: 5.5, 95%CI = 5.2–5.8) compared to other countries and even Florida blacks (IR: 4.4, 95%CI = 3.9–5.0). Conclusion: We found heterogeneity in IRs for HNC among these diverse black populations; notably, Kenya which had distinctively higher incidence of nasopharyngeal and female oral cavity cancer. Targeted etiological investigations are warranted considering the low consumption of tobacco and alcohol among Kenyan women. Overall, our findings suggest that behavioral and environmental factors are more important determinants of HNC than race.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102053
Pages (from-to)102053
JournalCancer Epidemiology
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Africa
  • Alcohol drinking
  • Blacks
  • Caribbean
  • HPV
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Incidence
  • Population-based cancer registry
  • Tobacco smoking
  • USA


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