Trends in Incidence of Head and Neck Cancer in the Northern Territory, Australia, between 2007 and 2010


Incidence trends of head and neck cancer (HNC) have implications for screening strategies, diseasemanagement, guiding health policy making, and are needed to further oral cancer research. This paper aimsto describe trends in age-adjusted HNC incidence rates focusing on changes across calendar period between2007 and 2010 in Australian Northern Territory. Age-adjusted incidence rates of HNC were calculated for 2007-2010 using Northern Territory population based data assembled by Department of Health, Northern TerritoryGovernment of Australia. Changes in the HNC rate ratio (RR) and Estimated Annual Percentage Change (EAPC)between 2007-2008, 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 were calculated. A total of 171 HNC patients were recorded by theNorthern Territory Department of Health during the time period between 2007 and 2010, out of which, 135 weremales (78.9% of male HNC patients) and 36 were females (21.1% of female HNC patients). In conclusion, HNCincidence rate has decreased in the Northern Territory Australian males but remains unchanged in Australianfemales. High incidences of HNC may be associated with the high smoking rate and high alcohol consumptionin the Northern Territory. Continued monitoring of trends in HNC incidence rates is crucial to inform NorthernTerritory based cancer prevention strategies.