© 2018 Sociedad Española de Otorrinolaringología y Cirugía de Cabeza y Cuello Introduction and objectives: The epidemiological characteristics of patients with head and neck cancer squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) have changed over recent years. The increase in life expectancy of the population, changed patterns of tobacco and alcohol use, and human papillomavirus infection (HPV) have brought about significant changes. The objective of the present study is to analyze the changes in the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of these patients over a 30-year period. Methods: Retrospective study of 5,123 patients with HNSCC treated over the period 1985-2017. We evaluated the existence of changes in the patterns of age, sex, tobacco and alcohol use, and location and extension of the tumours throughout the study period. HPV status was evaluated for patients with oropharyngeal carcinomas. Results: Throughout the study period there was a significant increase in the mean age at presentation and in the percentage of women, and a decrease in the percentage of patients with history of high consumption of toxic substances. We observed a decrease in the proportion of patients with laryngeal cancer, and an increase of patients with early tumours cT1 and with neck disease cN2. We detected a progressive increase in the proportion of HPV-positive oropharyngeal carcinoma patients. Conclusion: Over recent decades there have been significant changes in the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of patients with HNSCC.
- Head and neck cancer