Pattern of oral cancers in the North Central zone of Nigeria

 E.C. Otoh, N.W. Johnson, B.M. Mandong, I.S. Danfillo
Regional Centre for Oral Health Research & Training Initiatives (RCORTI) for Africa, Jos, Nigeria. 1WHO Collaborating Centre for Oral Cancers & Precancers, King?s College School of Medicine & Dentistry, London, UK. 2Department of Histopathology, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria.


To document the pattern of oral cancers (ICD-O: C00-C06) diagnosed histologically at the Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos between January 1987 and December 2002. Methods: Information on socio-demographic characteristics of patients and details of cancer occurrence and management were retrieved from the files and histopathology records of patients seen at the hospitals. Results: A total of 54 cases of oral cancers were reported, with a M-F ratio of 2.4:1 and with childhood cancers constituting 5.7%. There was a higher occurrence of oral cancers in patients aged 40 years and below, relative to reported findings in developed countries (p<0.05). Carcinomas were the predominant cancers (80.5%), while the AIDS-related cancers, kaposi sarcoma and non-hodgkin?s lymphoma, constituted 7.4% of oral cancers. Oral cancers were commonly reported in the tongue (33.3%), palate (27.8%) and lip (16.7%), with squamous cell carcinoma predominating in all reported sites. All the staged cancers were seen in the stage IV of the disease, while the mean duration of symptoms was least with tongue cancers (13?13.3 months) and longest with lip cancers (23?22.9 months). Conclusions: Routine screening for oral cancer and the counseling of patients with high-risk habits, by dentists is recommended to improve the prognosis of the disease.

Key words: Oral cancer, tumour, Nigeria

Download Article - PDF Documents - Word Document

Correspondence: Dr. Emmanuel C. OTOH

Basic Science & Research Division, Regional Centre for Oral Health Research & Training Initiatives (RCORTI) for Africa, 3, CBN Road, PMB 2067 Jos, Plateau State, NIGERIA. Tel. +234-73? 612750. Fax: +234-73-462901. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.