Oral Cavity Squamous Cell Carcinoma - Characteristics and Survival in Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Western Australians

Frydrych A.M1, *, Slack-Smith L.M1, Parsons R2, Threlfall T3
1 School of Dentistry M512, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia
2 School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia
3 Western Australian Cancer Registry, Department of Health (WA) Perth, Western Australia

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© Frydrych et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Dentistry (M512), The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, CRAWLEY Western Australia; Tel: +618 9346 7670; Fax: +618 9346 7666; E-mail::



Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common type of malignancy affecting the oral cavity. While exposures to main risk factors for oral SCC such as smoking and alcohol use are higher amongst the Aboriginal people, little is known about oral cancer in this population. This study aimed to describe characteristics and survival of oral SCC in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Western Australians.


All primary oral SCC cases reported to the Western Australian Cancer Registry (WACR) between 1990 and 1999 were analysed with respect to person characteristics including: date of birth, sex and indigenous status; and disease characteristics including: date of biopsy, disease stage and site as well as date of recurrence and date of death. Exclusion criteria included diagnosis not based on incisional or excisional biopsy, diagnosis other than oral SCC or a history of another malignant neoplasm.


Aboriginal individuals were more likely to reside in rural areas. No statistically significant differences in oral SCC characteristics and survival were noted between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Western Australians.


This study provides new information on person and disease characteristics of Aboriginal Western Australians diagnosed with oral SCC.

Keywords: Aboriginality, epidemiology, oral cancer, survival analysis. .