Worldwide it is estimated that there were around 600,000 cases and 325,000 deaths from head and neck cancer in 2012. Tobaccos and alcohol well established risk factors and are though to account for about 75% of head and neck cancers. The International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) Consortium was established in 2004 to help clarify the role of lifestyle factors and investigate other aetiologic questions.
The aim of this overview paper was to summarise the findings of the INHANCE consortium to date.
The INHANCE consortium includes investigators of 35 studies who have pooled their data on 25,500 patients with head and neck cancer (i.e., cancers of the oral cavity, oro- pharynx, hypopharynx, and larynx) and 37,100 controls. Cases are included in the INHANCE consortium if their tumor had been classified by the original study as an invasive tumor of oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx, oral cavity or pharynx not otherwise specified, larynx, or head and neck cancer unspecified according to the International Classification of Diseases for Oncology, version 2 [ICD- O-2], or the International Classification of Diseases, 9th [ICD-9; (30)] or 10th [ICD-10] Revision.
Most are case–control studies involving patients with head and neck cancer and a comparison group of controls without head and neck cancer; the other studies are case series-patients with head and neck cancers.
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