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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


CANDIA, Jorge; FERNANDEZ, Alejandra; SOMARRIVA, Carolina  and  HORNA-CAMPOS, Olivia. Deaths due to oral cancer in Chile in the period 2002-2012. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2018, vol.146, n.4, pp.487-493. ISSN 0034-9887.


Oral cancer is the 15th most common cause of cancer death in the world. In Chile, 1% of all cancer deaths are related to oral and pharyngeal cancer.


To determine mortality rates for oral cancer in Chile and its regions between 2002-2012.

Material and Methods:

Deaths and their causes between the years 2002-2012 were obtained from the Chilean National Statistics Institute. Crude and adjusted rates by age and sex were calculated for the country and its regions. The denominator was Chilean population on June 30, 2012 and the WHO standard population.


In the period studied, 1,611 individuals with a mean age of 67.6 years (63% men) died because of oral cancer. The most common location of the tumor was the tongue in 27% of cases and the parotid gland in 16%. The adjusted mortality rate in Chile was 0.85 / 100,000 inhabitants (1.13 and 0.58 in men and women, respectively). The regions with the highest rates were Antofagasta (1.51), Aysén (1.22) and Magallanes (1.17). Deaths among men occurred at younger ages than women.


Mortality rates due to oral cancer in Chile are lower than abroad. The highest rates observed in some regions may be influenced by environmental factors such as arsenic contamination in Antofagasta and the lack of specialists and specialized care centers in Aysén and Magallanes.

Keywords : Epidemiology; Mortality; Mouth Neoplasms.

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