Main Article Content
OBJECTIVE: Orofacial malignancies (OFM) are restricted to structures within the oral cavity and maxillofacial region. They are reported to be commoner in patients above age 40 years. Reports on its occurrence among younger patients are sparse. This study aims to describe the pattern and distribution of OFM in patients at 40 years and below.
METHODS: A 10-year retrospective review from Lagos University Teaching Hospital. All patients at 40 years and below with histologically diagnosed OFM were included in the study.
RESULTS: A total of 115 cases with OFM were seen. The Male: Female ratio was 1.1:1 and a mean age of 26.6, with most OFM occurring in the 4th decade (n=41.2%). Histologically, majority of OFM were carcinoma (75.6%) with Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) being the commonest lesion (29.57%). There was a maxilla site predilection and palate was the commonest intraoral site which also represented the most common site for salivary gland malignancies (SGM). The commonest SGM was adenocystic carcinoma (ADCC). Burkitt’s’ lymphoma was rare.
CONCLUSION: OFM especially SCC are not uncommon in patients at 40 years and below. Their characteristics are similar with other studies that considered all age groups. This will have important implications in formulating preventative strategies and screening guidelines for OFM by preventing an age cut-off (>50years) bias when these strategies are being considered.