Head and neck cancer disparities in South Carolina: descriptive epidemiology, early detection, and special programs.

Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association (1975)

PubMedID: 17319230

Yen KL, Horner MJ, Reed SG, Daguise VG, Bolick-Aldrich SW, Young MR, Day TA, Wood PA, Hebert JR. Head and neck cancer disparities in South Carolina: descriptive epidemiology, early detection, and special programs. J S C Med Assoc. 2006;102(7):192-200.
Recognizing that relatively easily detected precancerous lesions precede many cancers, there is a need to investigate the effectiveness of early interventions on the reduction of incidence rates in well-designed large randomized control trials. If early detection can reduce mortality rates of OPCA, evaluation of the capacity of dentists and physicians to screen or detect precancerous lesions related to oral cancers may have merit. Presently, there is a paucity of research regarding ecological barriers in the healthcare system, and improving access to adequate dental and medical care among the rural minority population in South Carolina certainly deserves emphasis. Additional research, specific to South Carolina, which includes comprehensive assessment of multiple social, behavioral, and biological factors, is needed. Interdisciplinary collaboration will be particularly important to dissect key factors contributing to the racial disparities observed in South Carolina. These differences should be taken into account while recommending and implementing public health strategies for the control of these cancers.