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Ann Oncol. 2009 Mar;20(3):556-63. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdn642. Epub 2008 Dec 10.

Cancer incidence and mortality in Iran.

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Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Liver and Gastro Intestinal Diseases Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Science, Tabriz, Iran.



Cancer is the third main cause of death in Iran. This report was provided for explaining cancer incidence and mortality.


The National Cancer Registry reports from 2003 to 2006, population-based cancer registry reports from five provinces in 2006 and National Death Registry reports from 1999 to 2004 have been applied in this report.


The age-standardized incidence rate of cancers was 98 and 110 per 100,000 among females and males. The male to female standard ratio was 1.12. The most common cancer among women and men was breast cancer (24) and stomach cancer (15), respectively. The estimated mortality rate for cancer was 41.1 and 65 per 100,000 for females and males in 2004.


The current low cancer incidence rates in Iran might be due to lack of national cancer screening programs for prostate, colorectal or breast cancer, a consequence of incomplete registration as well as incomplete diagnosis of cancer patients; it is expected that it will rise dramatically in the future because of anticipated increase in life expectancy and westernized lifestyle. The first priorities for health policy makers should be developing, establishing and implementing national cancer control; or else, the health system could not respond to the demands regarding to diagnosis, treatment and palliation for these patients in the future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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