Cancer Registration in Basrah 2005: Preliminary Results


Cancer is a disease which shows significant variation with time and across geographical entities. In Basrah,Iraq, despite the widespread impression that cancer is increasing, researchers are not yet able to draw clearboundaries as to the extent of cancer and its determinants. In this paper, we make a start in that direction; theaim was to measure as accurately as possible the incidence of cancer (all types) in Basrah, to assess age specificincidence rates and to map the cases across different areas of the governorate. For this purpose we compileddata on every accessible case of cancer. The cancer registry in Basrah was used as the prime source of data onnewly diagnosed cancer cases, supported by three other sources: the Cancer Registration Section at theDepartment of Pathology and Forensic Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Basrah; the OncologyCentre at Al-Sadr Teaching Hospital; and the Oncology Ward in Basrah Maternity and Child Hospital. Otherminor sources were also utilized. Information on cases from these sources was subjected to meticulous verificationregarding repetition, place of residence and other potential errors. The overall incidence rate was 74.3/100 000population with a higher rate for females (80.5/100 000) than for males (68.1/100 000). The results indicate clearincrease in registered cancer cases with increasing age. The lowest incidence rate was among females aged 5-14years (10.5/100 000) and the highest was among males aged 65 years and above (660.2/100 000). The resultsshow no major variation in the annual incidence rates of cancer in different areas of Basrah governorate. Thisfinding may suggest a common exposure to cancer risk factors. To reach sound conclusions about extent anddeterminants of cancer in Basrah, immense multi-spectrum efforts are now needed.