Cancers of the lip and oral cavity, larynx, oropharynx, hypopharynx, and salivary glands are the 16th, 21st, 24th, 25th and 28th most common cancers worldwide, respectively. The top 25 countries with the highest rates of these cancers in 2018 are given in the tables below.

Combined, these cancers make up mouth, pharynx and larynx (MPL) cancers, and there were over 750,000 new cases of these in 2018.

The Continuous Update Project Panel judged there is strong evidence that consuming alcoholic drinks and greater body fatness increase the risk of MPL cancers. There is some evidence that consuming non-starchy vegetables, choosing healthy dietary patterns and drinking coffee might decrease the risk of MPL cancers. There is some evidence that consuming mate might increase the risk of MPL cancers.

Read about all the evidence in our Third Expert Report.

Age-standardised rates are used in the tables. This is a summary measure of the rate of disease that a population would have if it had a standard age structure. Standardisation is necessary when comparing populations that differ with respect to age because age has a powerful influence on the risk of dying from cancer.

Rates of lip and oral cavity cancers: both sexes

Papua New Guinea had the highest rate of cancer of the lip and oral cavity in 2018, followed by Pakistan.

Rank Country Age-standardised rate per 100,000
1 Papua New Guinea 20.4 
2 Pakistan 12.2
3 Bangladesh 9.5
4 India 9.1
5 Sri Lanka 7.6
6 Hungary 7.5
7 Australia 7.1
8 Afghanistan 7.0
9 Latvia 6.9
10= Cuba 6.3
10= France 6.3
12 Slovakia 6.1
13 Namibia 5.9
14 Romania 5.5
15 New Caledonia (France) 5.2
16 UK 5.0
17= Luxembourg 4.9
17= Nepal 4.9
17= Poland 4.9
17= Reunion (France)  4.9
17= Serbia 4.9
22 Gabon 4.8
23 Belgium 4.7
24= Myanmar 4.5
24= Moldova 4.5

Rates of larynx cancer: both sexes

Cuba had the highest rate of larynx cancer in 2018, followed by Montenegro.

Rank Country Age-standardised rate per 100,000
1 Cuba 8.9
2 Montenegro 7.9
3 Moldova 7.3
4 Hungary 6.5
5 Macedonia 5.8
6= Poland 4.8
6= Romania 4.8
6= Serbia 4.8
9 Bosnia & Herzegovina 4.6
10= Bulgaria 4.3
10= Lebanon 4.3
12 Slovakia 4.2
13= Belarus 4.1
13= Turkey 4.1
15= Croatia 3.8
15= Dominican Republic 3.8
17 Bangladesh 3.7
18 Greece 3.5
19= Albania 3.4
19= Honduras 3.4
19= Ukraine 3.4
22= Cabo Verde 3.3
22= Latvia 3.3
22= Venezuela 3.3
25 Luxembourg 3.2

Rates of oropharynx cancer: both sexes

Hungary had the highest rate of oropharynx cancer in 2018, followed by Denmark.

Rank Country Age-standardised rate per 100,000
1 Hungary 4.7
2 Denmark 4.5
3 France 4.4
4 Romania 4.1
5 Slovenia 3.7
6 Slovakia 3.5
7 Belarus 3.3
8= Cuba 3.2
8= Moldova 3.2
10 Czech Republic 3.1
11= Dominican Republic 3.0
11= Montenegro 3.0
13= Paraguay 2.9
13= Reunion (France) 2.9
13= UK 2.9
16= New Caledonia (France) 2.7
16= Poland 2.7
18= Bangladesh 2.6
18= Haiti 2.6
20= Australia 2.5
20= Belgium 2.5
22= Guadeloupe (France) 2.4
22= Luxembourg 2.4
22= US 2.4
22= Venezuela 2.4

Rates of hypopharynx cancer: both sexes

Bangladesh had the highest rate of hypopharynx cancer in 2018, followed by Hungary.

Rank Country Age-standardised rate per 100,000
1 Bangladesh 5.1
2 Hungary 3.3
3 France 2.8
4 Portugal 2.4
5= Barbados 2.3
5= Myanmar 2.3
5= Slovakia 2.3
8= Bhutan 2.2
8= Belarus 2.2
8= Vietnam 2.2
11= India 2.0
11= Romania 2.0
11= Ukraine 2.0
14= Belgium 1.8
14= Reunion (France) 1.8
16= Lithuania 1.7
16= Pakistan 1.7
16= Poland 1.7
16= Turkmenistan 1.7
20 Moldova 1.6
21= Sri Lanka 1.5
21= French Polynesia 1.5
23= Serbia 1.4
23= Slovenia 1.4
25 Japan 1.3

Rates of salivary gland cancer: both sexes

Sweden had the highest rate of salivary gland cancer in 2018, followed by Finland.

Rank Country Age-standardised rate per 100,000
1 Sweden 3.0
2 Finland 2.0
3 Dominican Republic 1.9
4 Jamaica 1.7
5 Haiti 1.6
6 Rwanda 1.5
7= Cameroon 1.3
7= Cuba 1.3
7= Mozambique 1.3
7= New Caledonia (France) 1.3
7= Papua New Guinea 1.3
12= Peru 1.2
12= Togo 1.2
14 Namibia 1.1
15= Honduras 1.0
15= Hungary 1.0
15= Malawi 1.0
18= Canada 0.9
18= Congo (DR) 0.9
18= Indonesia 0.9
18= Israel 0.9
18= Madagascar 0.9
18= Mauritius 0.9
18= Zimbabwe 0.9
18= Trinidad & Tobago 0.9