Histologically diagnosed cancers in South Africa, 1988

  • F Sitas


The National Cancer Registry (NCR) collects information on cancer diagnoses via a nation-wide network of public and private pathology laboratories. In 1988, 45 570 new laboratory-diagnosed cancer cases were reported to the NCR. Minimal age-standardised registration rates for black, white, coloured and Asian males were 112,2, 229,9, 192,2 and 91,6/100 000, respectively, and those for females 107,2,201,3 148,1 and 118,0. About 40% of cancers in females and 31,3% in males occurred in potentially economically active adults aged 15 - 54 years. The top five cancers in males were: (i) basal cell skin cancer; (ii) cancer of the prostate gland; (iii) cancer of the oesophagus; (iv) lung cancer; and (v) squamous cell skin cancer. In females they were: (i) cancer of the cervix; (ii) breast cancer; (iii) basal cell skin cancer; (iv) squamous cell skin cancer; and (v) cancer of the oesophagus. Despite under-reporting, a nwnber of cancers, especially those of the oesophagus and cervix in blacks and skin cancers in whites, rank among the highest in the world. Moreover, 40,4% of the cancers in adult males (15 - 64 years) and 15,2% of those in adult females were associated with tobacco use. It is recommended that: (i) regional cancer registries be set up in a number of regions to provide information on the true burden of cancer and to monitor interventions; (ii) a national screening programme for cancer of the cervix be established; (iii) detailed studies on lifestyle and dietary causes, especially of cancers related to tobacco consumption and cancers of the oesophagus, cervix and skin, be undertaken; and (iv) the impact of HIV on virus-related cancers be monitored.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135