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BACKGROUND: Several studies on oral cancers have been reported, but few studies have specifically reported on the pattern of orofacial carcinomas in our environment. This study aims to determine the prevalence and clinicopathologic patterns of orofacial carcinomas in a Nigerian population.
METHODS: A 25-year retrospective study which reviewed the clinical and histopathology records, and slides of histopathologically diagnosed orofacial lesions in the Department of Oral Pathology and Medicine, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria
RESULTS: Among the 1,523 biopsies with histological diagnosis within the study period, 285(21.3%) of the cases were malignant lesions, which consist of 160 (56.1%) carcinomas, 52 (18.2%) sarcomas and 73(25.6%) lymphomas. The mean age of the carcinomas was 51 + 17.9 years, with the highest occurrence within the seventh decade of life (n = 37, 23.1%). There were 82 females (51.3%) and 78 males (48.8%) giving a ratio of 1.1:1. The Palate (n = 30, 18.8%) was the most common site. The most frequent carcinoma was the squamous cell carcinoma (n = 94, 58.6%), followed by salivary gland adenocarcinoma.
CONCLUSION: There was a relatively lower prevalence of orofacial carcinomas in this study compared to previous Nigerian reports. The lesions occurred mostly in the older age groups, with slight predilection for females and the palate was the most common site. Squamous cell carcinoma was the predominant histological type. These findings serve as baseline on the clinicopathological patterns of orofacial carcinomas in the South-South geopolitical zone in Nigeria.