3Assistant Professor of General Surgery, Kerman University of Medical Science and Health Services, Kerman, Iran
Background: Cancer as the second leading cause of death following cardiovascular diseases has always been a threat to human life and due to its peculiar nature and lack of a favorable treatment, it is considered as a research priority in all communities. Understanding the geographical distribution of the incidence of various tumors, constitutes the first step in health and treatment planning. This study was carried out to review the incidence rate of gastrointestinal cancers in Kerman province and estimate disease load in this geographical area. Methods: Through a community-based registration system, all the documents related to cancer diagnosis in Kerman province from 1996 to 2000 were investigated. Results: Among 5867 registered cases of cancer with an average age of 51.5±20.6 years, men composed 55.5% and women 44.5% of the cases and 1303 ones (22.2%) had gastrointestinal tract cancers among them gastric tumors (39%) had the highest incidence rate. Following gastric tumors, tumors of colon (29.4%), esophagus (12.5%), liver (5.83%) gallbladder (5.3%), and pancreas (2.84%) acquired the next ranks in regard to the incidence rate. The incidence pattern of aforementioned cancers in men showed the same pattern as the general population, but in women, colon tumors with the incidence rate of 35% have the highest incidence rate while tumors of the stomach (29.71%), esophagus (10.15%), gallbladder (9.8%), liver (5.26%) and pancreas (4.32%) were the next. Conclusion: Although, various GI malignancies have a lower incidence rate in Kerman province compared with other countries, the fact that these malignancies account for 22.4% of all malignancies, greatly enhances the need for serious planning for prevention, early diagnosis and correction of improper dietary habbits in this province. Moreover development of a versatile cancer registration system to evaluate the domestic comparisons seems essential.