BACKROUND: Golestan Province, at the western end of the Asian esophageal cancer (EC) belt in northeastern Iran, was reported to have one of the highest worldwide rates of EC in the 1970s. We have previously shown a declining incidence of EC in Golestan during the last decades. This study reports additional new results from the Golestan Population-based Cancer Registry (GPCR).
METHODS: The GPCR collected data from newly diagnosed (incident) cancer cases from all 68 public and private diagnostic and therapeutic centers in Golestan Province. CanReg-4 software was used for data entry and analysis based on the guidelines of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Age-standardized incidence rates (ASR) of cancers were calculated using the 2000 world standard population.
RESULTS: From 2004 through 2008, 9007 new cancer cases were reported to the GPCR. The mean (SD) age was 55.5 (18.6) years, and 54% were diagnosed in men. The ASRs of all cancers were 175.3 and 141.1 per 100,000 person-years for males and females, respectively. Cancers of the stomach (ASR:30.7), esophagus (24.3), and lung (15.4) were the most common cancers in males. In females, breast cancer (ASR:26.9) was followed by malignancies of the esophagus (19.1) and stomach (12.4). The diagnosis of cancer was based on histopathological reports in 71% and on death certificate only in 9% of cases.
CONCLUSIONS: The EC incidence rate continues to decline in Golestan, while the incidence rates of stomach, colorectal, and breast cancers continue to increase.