Epidemiology

Squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx and hypophar-ynx is the second most common respiratory cancer, after lung cancer [54]. It accounts for 1.6-2% of all malignant tumours in men, and 0.2-0.4% in women [37, 293]. Its incidence is increasing in much of the world, being slightly higher in urban than in rural areas. It is also higher among blacks than whites [54, 299].

Laryngeal and hypopharyngeal SCC occur most frequently in the sixth and seventh decades of life. It rarely occurs in children and adolescents [17, 274]. It is more common in men [54, 299], with a male:female ratio of about 5:1 worldwide [253]. The male:female ratio is decreasing in some countries, reflecting a greater incidence among women. The increasing incidence of la-ryngeal cancer in women has been attributed to the increased incidence of smoking over the last two decades [79].

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