This study aimed at evaluating the pattern of head and neck sarcomas among patients treated at Muhimbili National Hospital, Tanzania.
Sarcomas of the head and neck are very rare, representing only 1% of all primary tumors arising within the head and neck region and accounting for 4 to 10% of all sarcomas, with more than 50 distinct existing histologic subtypes.
Materials and methods
It was a retrospective study whereby histological results of the lesions arising from oral and maxillofacial region between 2008 and 2016 were analyzed. Patient's demographic data, histopathological diagnosis, and the type of sarcoma were recorded. The lesions were broadly grouped as soft and hard tissue sarcomas (HTSs). Data analysis was done using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 19 computer program.
Sarcomas accounted for 7% of all lesions occurring in orofacial region. Male to female ratio was 1:1.4. The age ranged from 3 to 81 years, mean age being 33 ± 16 years. The most affected age groups were of 30 to 39 followed by 20 to 29 years. Approximately half of the patients were aged below 30 years and three quarters below 40 years. Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and rhabdomyosarcoma were the most common soft tissue sarcoma (STS), while osteosarcoma and chondrosarcoma were the commonest HTS.
The analysis demonstrated that the head and neck sarcomas are a very rare group of neoplasm, with approximately 20 cases per year. The STSs are more common than the HTSs, while KS is the most common, followed by osteosarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma. Generally, patients less than 40 years of age are the mostly affected, with a slightly higher female predominance.
By contributing to the identification of the incidence of sarcomas at a tertiary hospital in Tanzania, this study promotes scientific understanding of pattern of occurrence and underscores the necessity of early detection of sarcomas, since the affected are young individuals.
How to cite this article
Moshy JR, Owibingire SS, Sohal KS. An 8-year Pattern of Orofacial Sarcoma from the National Referral Hospital in United Republic of Tanzania. Int J Head Neck Surg 2016;7(4):207-212.