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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2005 Jul-Sep;6(3):359-63.

Cancer occurrence in Iran in 2002, an international perspective.

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Digestive Disease Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Shariati Hospital-Kargar St., Tehran 14114, Iran.


For almost 30 years no population-based cancer statistics have been available with which to estimate the cancer burden in Iran. In 2002 and 2003 two separate reports of population based cancer registries were published from Iran and the cancer incidence rates from these sources have permitted informed estimates of cancer incidence and mortality to be prepared. They suggest that more than 51,000 cases of cancer are diagnosed and 35,000 deaths due to cancer occur each year. The 5 most common cancers in males (by ASR) are stomach (26.1 per 10(5)), esophagus (17.6 ), colon-rectum (8.3), bladder (8.0) and leukemia (4.8), and in females are breast (17.1), esophagus (14.4), stomach (11.1), colon-rectum (6.5) and cervix uteri (4.5). The incidence rates of esophageal and stomach cancer in Iran are high, well above the world average, while the incidence of lung cancer is very low. Breast cancer, although the most common cancer of females in Iran, has rates that are low by world standards, especially those observed in Europe and USA. Similarly, the incidence of cervix cancer in Iran is very low, even lower than such low risk countries as China, Kuwait and Spain. Comparing these rates with the data of 30 years ago, the incidence of esophageal cancer has decreased dramatically, but gastric cancer has increased about two fold.

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