Background: Squamous cell carcinoma of the nasopharynx, oropharynx and hypopharynx constitutes a majority of head neck malignancies. The incidence-based mortality across different races has been noted to be divergent. This study analyzes the trend in incidence-based mortality from the years 2000 to 2017 amongst both the genders in Caucasian/White and African American/Black patients. Methods: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Database was queried to conduct a nation-wide analysis for the years 2000 to 2017. Incidence-based mortality for all stages of nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer was queried and the results were grouped by race (Caucasian/White, African American/Black, American Indian/ Alaskan native and Asian/Pacific Islander) and gender. All stages and ages were included in the analysis. t-test was used to determine statistically significant differences between various subgroups. Linearized trend lines were used to visualize the mortality trends of all sub groups. Results: Across all races, the male to female gender disparity in mortality was ~1:3 in patients with nasopharynx and became worse to ~1:4 and ~1:5 for patients with oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers, respectively. Notably, the highest incidence-based mortality for nasopharyngeal cancers is seen in Asian/pacific Islander males and a similar peak is noted for hypopharyngeal cancers in African American/Black males. Incidence-based mortality rates (per 1000) for nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer of all races and both the genders was noted to be divergent. Conclusion: A significant gender disparity exists in all three pharyngeal cancers across all races. It is unclear if female gender is protective but further study is warranted in a stage-specific and age-specific manner to better understand this disparity.
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