Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer in Arab Nations

Omar Kujan, Majdy Idrees, Camile Farah

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


Oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer (OCC-OPC) is a major health burden worldwide. The Arab League constitutes 22 countries with a population exceeding 400 million living in a diverse geography extending from the Arabian Gulf in the East to the Atlantic Ocean in the West. This is the first report to analyze the epidemiology and etiology of OCC-OPC in the Arab region with an insight into current practices of preventive measures. Data were retrieved from the public database of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (GLOBOCAN 2018). Literature was searched to report the associated risk factors and prevention of OCC-OPC. In 2018, the estimated OCC-OPC age-standardized incidence rate per 100,000 per annum in Arab countries was 2.4. OCC-OPC accounted for nearly 3,500 deaths in the region and the associated age-standardized mortality rate was predicted to be 1.1. Males were affected more than females; male:female ratios for both incidence and mortality were 1.24:1 and 1.23:1, respectively. By 2040, the incidence of OCC-OPC and mortality rates are expected to double. The level of awareness of OCC-OPC among both the public and dental care professionals is low. In conclusion, GLOBOCAN data reported from Arab countries is of very low quality as it is based on estimation rather than national cancer registries. Nonetheless, OCC-OPC is a health burden in the Arab region and the future foreshadows accelerated development. Effective policies for prevention should be prompted by governments. Further research is warranted to unfold the impact of specific risk factors in Arab societies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Healthcare in the Arab World
EditorsIsmail Laher
Place of PublicationNetherlands
ISBN (Print)9783319743653
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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