Health ministry revealed data on cancer amongst Iranians

June 8, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian health ministry announced highest rate of ten most common cancers in each province according to statistics of the Iranian calendar year 1394 (March 2015- March 2016), deputy health minister Reza Malekzadeh announced.

The report was completed by collecting information from 77 million and 539 thousand individuals in 30 provinces and registered at the population-based cancer registry of the Islamic Republic of Iran, he explained.

The first cancer registration report dated back to the Iranian calendar year 1393 (March 2014- March 2015) and this is the second report released by the health ministry, he said.

A total of 108,798 new cases of cancer was diagnosed during 1394 in Iran out of which 58,0921 ones (53.39 percent) were men and 50,706 (46.6 percent) were women, he said.

There were 112,000 cancer patients in previous year, 1393, which included 60,432 (53.9 percent) men and 51,628 women (46.1 percent), he said.

According to the statistics, 149.74 per 100,000 population suffer from cancer, including 156.95 men and 134.43 women per 100,000 population, he announced.

Common cancers amongst Iranians

Breast cancer (32.9 percent), prostate cancer (16.93), nonmelanoma skin cancer (14.6 percent), gastric cancer (13.70 percent) and colorectal cancer (13.31 percent) are the most common cancers in the country, he said.

The statistics revealed the same findings during the Iranian calendar year 1393, he added.

Breast cancer (32.9 percent), colorectal cancer (11.70 percent), nonmelanoma skin cancer (10.85 percent), gastric cancer (8.67 percent) and thyroid cancer (7.31 percent) are the most common cancers in women, he said.

A total of 12,588 women suffered from breast cancer during the Iranian calendar year 1394, he said.

Unfortunately, obesity is prevailing in Iranian women due to unhealthy diet and insufficient physical activity and it is one the main reasons for developing cancer, he lamented.

Health ministry should set up some programs for prevention and early diagnosis of breast cancer due to its high rate amongst Iranian women, he added.

Which provinces, which cancers

The highest rate of cancer in different provinces are announced based on the statistics released in 1393, he said.

Yazd, Zanjan and West Azarbaijan have the highest cancer rates amongst Iranian provinces, Malekzadeh said.

Gastric cancer in Ardabil, Zanjan, Northern Khorasan provinces, prostate cancer in Yazd, Fars and Tehran provinces, colorectal cancer in Semnan, Tehran and Yazd provinces, bladder cancer in Kerman, Yazd and Western Azarbaijan provinces, lung cancer in West Azerbaijan, East Azarbaijan and Kerman provinces, Leukemia in Isfahan, Yazd and Kermanshah provinces, central nervous system cancer in West Azarbaijan, Yazd and Zanjan provinces, esophageal cancer in Zanjan, Northern Khorasan and Golestan provinces, lymphoma in Yazd, Khuzestan and Kermanshah provinces and throat cancer in Northern Khorasan, Kerman and Southern Khorasan provinces are common cancers in different regions.

Yazd, Khorasan Razavi and Isfahan provinces are the most common regions for cancers amongst women, he announced.

Breast cancer rate in women is high in Tehran, Yazd and Semnan provinces, colorectal cancer in Semnan, Tehran and Yazd provinces, gastric cancer in Ardabil, Zanjan and East and West Azarbaijan provinces, central nervous system cancer in Yazd, Zanjan and West Azarbaijan provinces, esophageal cancer in Zanjan, Northern Khorasan and Golestan provinces, ovarian cancer in Yazd, Tehran and Semnan provinces and cervical cancer in Zanjan, Yazd and Tehran provinces.

The range of cancer is prevailing between ages of 75 to 85 year old in Iran, he announced.

The reasons beyond the statistics

The cancer of the upper gastrointestinal tract is most common disease in northwestern and northeastern Iran due to consumption of opium, drinking hot tea, little consumption of fruit and fresh vegetable as well as poor oral hygiene, Malekzadeh explained.

Besides, lung, colorectal, skin, thyroid, prostate, bladder and cervical cancers are common in central and southern Iran due to unhealthy lifestyle, bad diet, inadequate physical activity and obesity, he said.

Although more epidemiological studies are needed to find the reasons, he added.

The rate of esophageal cancer decreased in Golestan province due to proper access of citizen to drinking water hygiene and the replacement of standard fuel instead of oil in indoor environments, he said.

The number decreased from 100 per 100,000 to 20 per 100,000, he explained.

Cancer, the third cause of death in Iran

After road accidents and cardiovascular diseases, cancer is the third leading cause of deaths among Iranians during recent years, he said.

However the rate of cancer is less than developed countries or neighboring countries like Turkey, he asserted.

The rate of cancer in Iran is 149.74 per 100,000 population (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) which is less than global rate, which is 182 in 100,000 population, he said.

As per the data collected by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent population health research center at UW Medicine, part of the University of Washington, some 54,000 Iranians died of cancer in 2016 constituting 14.9 percent of all deaths (360,000).

The IHME data also indicates that age-standardized rate of death caused by cancer per 100,000 people per year in Iran was 104 in 1990 which has decreased to 97 in 2015.

Population-based cancer registry of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Malekzadeh said that Iran is one of the pioneer developing countries, which is equipped with “population-based cancer registry of the Islamic Republic of Iran”.

The “population-based cancer registry of the Islamic Republic of Iran” is the first reliable and official data collected on cancer incidence in Iran was included in World Health Organization’s “Cancer Incidence in Five Continents (CI5).

CI5 is published approximately every five years by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR) and provides comparable high quality statistics on the incidence of cancer from cancer registries around the world. Volume XI contains information from 343 cancer registries in 65 countries for cancers diagnosed from 2008 to 2012.

Cancer registries are valuable research tools in the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease and collecting data on cancer incidence also plays a significant role in planning screening schemes as well as preventing the disease.

According to the registries in the Iranian calendar year 1393 (March 21, 2014 to March 20, 2015) some 112,000 individuals were diagnosed with cancer.

Global cancer data in 2018

According to a report released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of World Health Organization (WHO), the global cancer burden is estimated to have risen to 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million deaths in 2018. One in five men and one in six women worldwide develop cancer during their lifetime, and one in eight men and one in 11 women die from the disease.

Worldwide, the total number of people who are alive within five years of a cancer diagnosis, called the 5-year prevalence, is estimated to be 43.8 million. The increasing cancer burden is due to several factors, including population growth and ageing as well as the changing prevalence of certain causes of cancer linked to social and economic development. This is particularly true in rapidly growing economies, where a shift is observed from cancers related to poverty and infections to cancers associated with lifestyles more typical of industrialized countries.

Europe accounts for 23.4% of the global cancer cases and 20.3% of the cancer deaths, although it has only 9.0% of the global population. The Americas have 13.3% of the global population and account for 21.0% of incidence and 14.4% of mortality worldwide.

In contrast to other world regions, the proportions of cancer deaths in Asia and in Africa (57.3% and 7.3%, respectively) are higher than the proportions of incident cases (48.4% and 5.8%, respectively), because these regions have a higher frequency of certain cancer types associated with poorer prognosis and higher mortality rates, in addition to limited access to timely diagnosis and treatment in many countries.

Cancers of the lung, female breast, and colorectal are the top three cancer types in terms of incidence, and are ranked within the top five in terms of mortality (first, fifth, and second, respectively). Together, these three cancer types are responsible for one third of the cancer incidence and mortality burden worldwide.

Cancers of the lung and female breast are the leading types worldwide in terms of the number of new cases; for each of these types, approximately 2.1 million diagnoses are estimated in 2018, contributing about 11.6% of the total cancer incidence burden. Colorectal cancer (1.8 million cases, 10.2% of the total) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer, prostate cancer is the fourth (1.3 million cases, 7.1%), and stomach cancer is the fifth (1.0 million cases, 5.7%).

Between 30–50% of cancers can currently be prevented by avoiding risk factors and implementing existing evidence-based prevention strategies. The cancer burden can also be reduced through early detection of cancer and management of patients who develop cancer. Many cancers have a high chance of cure if diagnosed early and treated adequately.

SB/MQ/

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