Effect of rural and urban geography on larynx cancer incidence and survival

Steven A. Zuniga, Miriam N. Lango

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: Investigate the impact of rural geography on larynx cancer incidence and survival. Study Design: Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database study. Methods: Incidence and survival rates by Rural–Urban Continuum codes for larynx squamous cell carcinoma patients diagnosed from 2004 to 2012 were evaluated using SEER statistical software and Cox proportional hazards survival analysis. Results: The lowest age-adjusted incidence rates for larynx cancer were seen in densely populated urban regions, with mean rates of 2.8 per 100,000 person years (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.7-2.8); the highest were in the most rural areas, with mean rates of 5.3 per 100,000 person years (95% CI: 4.7-5.9). Nevertheless, of 23,659 larynx cancer patients diagnosed over this period, 19,556 (82.7%) arose in urban residents, compared with 1,428 or 6% from rural areas. Urban larynx cancer patients more likely lived in counties with an American College of Surgeons–approved cancer center and/or a fourfold greater otolaryngology physician supply. Nevertheless, frequency of advanced stage at initial presentation was similar. Cause-specific and overall survival were no different, both on univariable and multivariable analyses. Conclusions: Compared with urban populations, Rural populations are at greater risk of developing larynx cancer, but initial stage and survival after diagnosis are comparable. Priority should be given to prevention strategies to decrease incidence rates. Level of Evidence: 4 Laryngoscope, 1874–1880, 2018.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1874-1880
Number of pages7
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • Epidemiology
  • Larynx cancer
  • Surveillance
  • and End Results
  • geographic
  • rural
  • survival


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