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Afr J Health Sci. 1996 Feb;3(1):11-5.

Oesophageal and other cancer patterns in four selected districts of the Transkei, Southern Africa:1985-1990.

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Medical Research Council, P.O. Box 19070, Tygerberg 7505, South Africa.


New data regarding the incidence of oesophageal and other cancers during the period 1985-1990 are reported for all clinics and hospitals in four selected districts of Transkei, Southern Africa i.e. Kentani, Butterworth, Lusikisiki and Bisana. Active and passive methods were used to obtain the hospital-based cancer registry data. The mean annual number of cancer cases recorded for the period 1985-1990 was 292. Age-standardised incidence rates (ASIR, African standard) for all recorded cancer were 81.4 and 52.6/100,000 for males and females respectively. Histopathological examination of 52.6% of recorded tumors revealed that 67.3% were squamous carcinomas, 21.7% adenocarcinomas and the remainder non-epithelial neoplasm. Cancer of the oesophagus (OC) was the most frequently recorded cancer and accounted for the 46.5% of the cases with mean ASIR of 46.7 and 19.2/100,000 for males and females respectively. The male/female ratio was 2.4:1. The highest mean ASIR per annum for OC in males (55.6/100,000) occurred in Kentani and in females (22.3/100,000) in Lusikisiki, whereas the lowest rates in both sexes (37.0 and 11.7/100,000 respectively) occurred in Bizana. Comparison of the OC rates in the four districts of Transkei during 19985-1990 with previous reported trends, confirms a consistently high rate in the south-western districts of Kentani during the past 35 years and progressively increasing rates in the north-eastern districts of Bizana and Lusikisiki. These results have profound implications for further epidemiological and aetiological studies on OC in Transkei, but we need to be corroborated by data form other sources such as statistics on histologically diagnosed cancer in Transkei by districts in the South African National Cancer Registry. The second most frequent recorded cancer among males was liver cancer with a mean annual ASIR of 6.0/ 100,000 and male:female ratio of 3:1. The most frequent recorded cancer among females was cervical cancer with a mean annual ASIR of 20.9/100,000 followed by OC (19.2/100,000) and breast cancer (5.8/100,000).

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