Association between serum heavy metals level and cancer incidence in Darbandikhan and Kalar area, Kurdistan region, Iraq

  • B.H. Marouf
Keywords: Cancer, Darbandikhan, heavy metals, Kalar, water sources


Background: Exposure to heavy metals is considered as the main threat to human health and biological system. Darbandikhan Lake is one of the three large lakes in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq; it is currently at a high risk of pollution by sewage and municipal wastes. The current study was designed to highlight the potential association between concentration of heavy metals and carcinogenicity in people who live in Darbandikhan and the surrounding area.

Materials and Methods: A case–control study was carried out on 29 cancerous patients and 25 healthy individuals from Darbandikhan, Kalar, and the surrounding area; the patients were admitted to the Hiwa Oncology Center in Sulaimani City. Determination of serum concentrations of copper (Cu), iron (Fe), cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn), was performed by an inductively coupled plasma atomic absorption spectrophotometer.

Results: Serum concentration of Pb, Fe, and Cu was higher in cancer group compared with control in nonsignificantly different (P > 0.05) for Pb, whereas significantly (P < 0.05) for Cu and Fe. Higher serum Cd concentration was detected in control group compared with the cancer group. Differences not detected in Cr and As serum concentration analysis between both groups. Serum level of Zn was nonsignificantly higher in control group compared with the cancer group (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: Discrepancies in the serum level of heavy metals of cancer group might reveal the involvement of heavy metal as a contributing factor of carcinogenicity in these areas.

Keywords: Cancer, Darbandikhan, heavy metals, Kalar, water sources


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1119-3077