Aging process leads to changes in the oral mucosa and more than 50% of head and neck cancers occur in older adults. This study aimed to assess the frequency of oral and maxillofacial neoplasms in the Iranian geriatric population.
The record files of the oral pathology department, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, and the pathology departments of Loghman and Imam Khomeini hospitals from 2007 to 2016 served as the source of material for this retrospective study. Data including patient’s age, gender, tumor location, and the histopathologic diagnosis were recorded. Chi-Square and one-way ANOVA tests were used for statistical analysis.
During this period, 551 oral and maxillofacial neoplasms of geriatric patients were registered in the aforementioned centers. They generally had the highest frequency in the 7th decade of life with a male to female ratio of 1.45. The oral cavity was the commonest location (52%, p=0.000). Out of 551 samples, 95.59% were found in soft tissue and 4.41% in bone. Epithelial tumors were the most common microscopic subtype (56.8%), followed by salivary gland tumors (27.20%). Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) was the most common neoplasm (46.50%).
In this study, oral and maxillofacial tumors were most often observed in patients in their 70s with a higher prevalence in male patients. The frequency of cancer was three times that of benign tumors, which emphasizes the need for screening examinations for older adults.
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