Review Article

Epidemiology and demographics of head and neck cancer in Africa: A scoping review

Jaishika Seedat, Kim Coutts, Ellen Vlok
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 15, No 1 | a3749 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v15i1.3749 | © 2023 Jaishika Seedat, Kim Coutts, Ellen Vlok | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 July 2022 | Published: 01 August 2023

About the author(s)

Jaishika Seedat, Department of Speech and Hearing Therapy, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Kim Coutts, Department of Speech and Hearing Therapy, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Ellen Vlok, Department of Speech and Hearing Therapy, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Low- to middle-income countries account for 70% of global cancer deaths. Evidence of the changing prevalence of head and neck cancer in Africa in terms of gender, race and epidemiology will inform future research and health planning.

Aim: To synthesise epidemiological literature for head and neck cancer in Africa from 2010 to 2020.

Method: A scoping review was completed. The Joanna Briggs Institute Population, context and concept framework confirmed the inclusion criteria. Studies from Africa that included participant demographics, the types, stages, signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer were selected. Five databases were used. Descriptive statistics was completed.

Results: The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and MetaAnalysis guided the reporting of the findings. Of the 1891 articles downloaded, 66 were included in the final review. Nigeria produced the most studies and oral cancer at 74% was most prevalent. Substance abuse was the most prevalent cause. Diagnosis of head and neck cancers were in the late stage (stage IV) when signs and symptoms were severe. Males of lower socioeconomic status tended to have less health seeking behaviour.

Conclusion: Countries from North Africa produce the most research outputs on head and neck cancers. Gender differences were noted and may be linked to lifestyle choices. A range of head and neck cancers (HNCs) are prevalent however late diagnosis and severe symptomatology impact treatment options.

Contribution: Earlier diagnosis and intervention to prevent late-stage diagnosis is necessary. Awareness campaigns linked to evidence on causes, habits and lifestyle choices, signs and symptoms are needed.


Keywords

Africa; head and neck cancer; epidemiology; demographics; scoping review; gender.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Metrics

Total abstract views: 1756
Total article views: 2044

 

Crossref Citations

1. Deciphering the complex landscape of post-translational modifications on PKM2: Implications in head and neck cancer pathogenesis
Palak Singla, Alok Jain
Life Sciences  vol: 349  first page: 122719  year: 2024  
doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2024.122719