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Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2002 Jun 21;127(25-26):1367-74.

[Current epidemiology of carcinoma of the esophagus and cardia in Germany].

[Article in German]

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Medizinische Klinik I, Gastroenterologie, Infektiologie & Rheumatologie, Universitätsklinikum Benjamin Franklin, FU Berlin.



In the past 20-30 years the incidence of adenocarcinoma (AC) of the esophagus and the cardia has risen in western countries, while that of squamous cell carcinoma (SC) of the esophagus has largely stayed constant. Current data in the epidemiology of these cancers in Germany were analysed.


The data of the epidemiological cancer register of the Saarland (Old State of former West Germany) and the combined registers of the New States of Germany (former East Germany) and Berlin were collected. Because of the excellent registration procedures, data from the Saarland and the New States, Mecklenburg-Pommern, Brandenburg and Saxony were selected for this study. The incidence was calculated and corrected for age in relation to the world population.


The incidence of esophageal AC among males in the Saarland rose from 0.22 per 100 000 population to 1.17 between 1986 to 1997, an increase of 432%, while in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Saxomy it rose, between 1977 and 1998, from 0.23 to 0.8 i.e. by 248%. Esophageal SC incidence remained largely constant in both cancer registers since 1986. In 1998 it was 3.31 in the three New States of Germany and 5.05 in the Saarland. In females the incidence was markedly lower. In 1996-1998 fewer than 10% of cases of esophageal cancer were in UICC stage 1 (T 1 N 0 M 0, early carcinoma). Correspondingly the 5-year survival of all patients with esophageal carcinoma in the Saarland was less than 10% in 1971-1995. AC of the cardia also increased. In the three New States of Germany the incidence among males rose from 1.27 in 1977 to 2.18 in 1998, in females from 0.4 to 0.58. During the same period malignant tumors of the entire stomach, including the cardia, decreased in males from 29.5 to 17.1, in females from 14.3 to 9.2.


In Germany, during the past 15-20 years, the incidence of esophageal AC and presumably also of AC of the cardia has increased. But the incidence of squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus has remained largely constant. The proportion of early carcinoma and the 5-year survival with esophageal carcinoma remains under 10%.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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