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Br J Cancer. 2011 Aug 23;105(5):723-30. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2011.301. Epub 2011 Aug 9.

Trends in breast, ovarian and cervical cancer incidence in Mumbai, India over a 30-year period, 1976-2005: an age-period-cohort analysis.

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  • 1Mumbai Cancer Registry, Indian Cancer Society, Mumbai, India.



Demographic, socioeconomic and cultural changes in India have increased longevity, delayed childbearing, decreased parity and resulted in a more westernised lifestyle, contributing to the increasing burden of cancer, especially among women.


We evaluated secular changes in the incidence of breast, cervical and ovarian cancer in Mumbai women aged 30-64 between 1976 and 2005. Age-standardised incidence rates were calculated and presented by site and calendar period. An age-period-cohort (APC) analysis quantified recent time trends and the significance of birth cohort and calendar period effects. The estimated annual percent change (EAPC) was obtained from the drift parameter, expressing the linear time trend common to both calendar period and birth cohort.


Over the 30-year study period, the age-standardised rates significantly increased for breast cancer (EAPC: 1.1% (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.0, 1.3)), significantly decreased for cervical cancer (EAPC: -1.8% (95% CI: -2.0, -1.6)) and there was no statistically significant change for ovarian cancer (EAPC: 0.3% (95% CI: -0.1, 0.6)). For breast and cervical cancer, the best-fitting model was the APC model.


The rates of breast, cervical and ovarian cancer remain low in comparison with western countries, and the divergent trends of breast (increasing) and cervical cancer (decreasing) in Mumbai were similar to those observed in several other Asian countries. The changing risk profile in successive generations - improved education, higher socioeconomic status, later age at marriage and at first child, and lower parity - may in combination partially explain the diverging generational changes in breast and cervical cancer in Mumbai in the last decades.

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