Cancer of the larynx in Puerto Rico

P R Health Sci J. 2008 Sep;27(3):196-203.


Introduction: Cancer of the larynx is the fourteenth most common cancer in the world. The purpose of this cross-sectional study is to examine the characteristics of laryngeal cancer in Puerto Rico. The study evaluates whether this type of cancer is increasing, to what degree gender differences occur; and describe common types of medical treatment.

Method: Information on cases of laryngeal cancer for the period of 1997 to 2002 was collected at the Puerto Rico Central Cancer Registry, Department of Health. The incidence of laryngeal cancer in Puerto Rico during the study period was estimated. Sex differences in case-fatality rate and other variables were analyzed. Medical treatments for laryngeal cancer were also analyzed.

Results: The study revealed that the average incidence of laryngeal cancer in Puerto Rico was 3.8 x 100,000 from 1997-1998 and 3.5 x 100,000 from 2001-2002 (-1.07 APC). Of all the cases (n = 848) of laryngeal cancer reviewed, 88% were male. Females were more likely to be diagnosed before age 50 than males (p = 0.02). In this study, women had twice the probability of being alive at the end of the study period (OR = 1.97; CI: 1.14-3.45). The two most frequent types of single treatments for laryngeal cancer were radiation (39%) and surgery (33%).

Conclusions: Cases oflaryngeal cancer are decreasing in Puerto Rico. Significant differences by sex were observed, especially the stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis. Future studies on medical treatment modalities that better preserve vocal function concurrently with voice therapy are recommended.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Puerto Rico / epidemiology
  • Sex Factors