Gastrointestinal cancer occurrence in East Azarbaijan: A five year study from North Western Iran
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Background and aims: Regardless of the fact that neoplasms of the GI tract have been reported as the most common fatal cancers in east Azerbaijan, there is a serious lack of population based studies in this region. The aim of this pathology-based cancer registry report is to document epidemiologic aspects of gastrointestinal tract cancers in East Azerbaijan for further medical programs for treatment and screening of high-risk groups and study changes over time. Methods: A survey team reviewed and collected all records of cancer cases from all referral and valid pathology laboratories, hospitals and out patient public and private clinics of East Azerbaijan province during a five year period (September 1999 to 2004). Results: 5417 new cases of histologically confirmed GI tract cancers were registered, 61.7% of the subjects being male. The mean (± SD) ages were 63.25 ± 12.79 and 59.45±13.39 yr for men and women, respectively .Gastric cancer was the most common GI tract cancer with an annual ASR of 21.3 per 105 for males and 8.2 for females . The annual ASRs for esophagus and colorectal cancers were 9.4 and 6 in males and 7.1 and 9.2 in females. Gastric cancer was significantly more common among men although women were more likely to develop cancer in younger age. Some 14% of our subjects with colorectal cancer were under the age of 40. Conclusion: This first report from East Azarbaijan, suggests a need for further evaluations to map out the risk factors and interventions.