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Ann Epidemiol. 2004 Oct;14(9):663-8.

Cancer incidence in postwar Lebanon: findings from the first national population-based registry, 1998.

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  • 1Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUB-MC) Beirut, Lebanon.



Cancer incidence rates in Lebanon have been lacking for over three decades. National data based on a total of 4388 cases diagnosed during the year 1998 were reviewed and analyzed.


Crude and age-standardized rates (ASRs) per 100,000 population were calculated and results were contrasted with estimates from developed and selected developing countries in the region.


Among males, bladder (18.5%), prostate (14.2%), and lung cancer (14.1%) were the most frequently reported malignancies. Among females, breast cancer alone accounted for over a third of all cancers, followed by colon cancer (5.8%), and cancer of the corpus uteri (4.8%). Sex-differentials in incidence rates were highest for tobacco-related cancers (lung, larynx, and bladder). Compared with current estimates worldwide, ASRs for bladder cancer in Lebanon showed strikingly high rates. Whereas ASRs for breast and prostate cancer remained lower than those observed in developed countries, they were greater than those estimated from neighboring countries with a similar epidemiological transition as Lebanon.


Findings of the comparative assessments most likely reflect differentials in prevalence of risk factors and lifestyle variables (e.g., lung and breast cancers) and can be partly explained by improvement in cancer detection rate in recent years (for prostate cancer). The implications of the results in light of primary prevention activities, screening practices, and research initiatives in Lebanon are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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