Lung Cancer Incidence in the Arab League Countries: Risk Factors and Control


Although lung cancer incidence rates and mortalities are still low in the Arab world as compared to Europe orUSA, they is gradually increasing in the region. Furthermore, there is great variation between different parts ofthe Arab world. For instance, the age-standardized rates (ASRs) for lung cancer incidence are about 15 fold higherin Tunisia than in Sudan for men, and about 10 fold higher in Bahrain than in Yemen for females. Percentage datafor both sexes of lung cancer in the Arab world show that 15/22 (68.1%) of the Arab countries have lung canceras one of the most frequent five types of cancer. Despite major advances in understanding and treating cancer,the 5-year relative survival rate in North Africa and the Middle East is only 8%. With the notable exception ofAlgeria, and to a lesser extent Tunisia, where squamous cell carcinomas are more common, the two main typesshow approximately the same proportions in males, while adenocarcinomas tend to predominate in females.The estimated numbers of new lung cancer cases in 2008 were 9,537 in ages below 65 for both sexes, and 7,059cases for ages above 65. In 2020 there is expected to be 14,788 new lung cancer cases in the Arab countries forages below 65, and 14,788 cases for ages above 65 in both males and females. Between 1990 and 1997, cigaretteconsumption increased 24% in the Middle East, one of only two regions of the world where cigarette salesincreased during that period, so that continued rise in cancer rates can be expected. Improvement of tobaccocontrol, registration and treatment are all necessary to decrease the burden of lung cancer in the Arab world.