Trends in Incidence of Common Cancers in Iran


Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran E-mail:


Cancer is a major public health problem in Iran. The aim of this study was to evaluate trends in incidence of ten common cancers in Iran, based on the national cancer registry reports from 2004 to 2009. This epidemiological study was carried out based on existing age-standardized estimate cancer data from the national report on cancer registry/Ministry of Health in Iran. The obtained data were analyzed by test for linear trend and P ≥ 0.05 was taken as the significant level. Totals of 41,169 and 32,898 cases of cancer were registered in men and females, respectively, during these years. Overall age-standard incidence rates (ASRs) per 100,000 population according to primary site weres 125.6 and 113.4 in males and females, respectively. Between 2004 and 2009, the ten most common cancers (excluding skin cancer) were stomach (16.2), bladder (12.6), prostate (11), colon-rectum (10.14), hematopoeitic system (7.1), lung (6.1), esophagus (6.4), brain (3.2), lymph node (3.8) and larynx (3.4) in males; and in females were breast (27.4), colon-rectum (9.3), stomach (7.6), esophagus (6.4), hematopoeitic system (4.9), thyroid (3.9), ovary (3.6), corpus uteri (2.9), bladder (3.2) and lung (2.6). Moreover, results showed that skin cancer was estimated as the most common cancer in both sexes. The lowest and the highest incidence in females and males were reported respectively in 2004 and 2009. Over this period, the incidence of cancer in both sexes has been significantly increasing (p<0.01). Like other less developed and epidemiologically transitioning countries, the trend of age-standardized incidence rate of cancer in Iran is rising. Due to the increasing trends, the future burden of cancer in the Iran is going to be acute with the expected increases in aging populations. Determining and controlling potential risk factors of cancer should hopefully lead to decrease in its burden.