Pattern and incidence of cancer at El Obeid Hospital, Western Sudan.
Background: The growing population of elderly people, the changes in life style, the new dietary habits and the HIV pandemic resulted in more exposure to cancer promoting factors in developing countries, including Sudan. Sudan is a large county with different climatic regions and the population has wide diversity of ethnic groups with varying cultures. Nevertheless, the burden of cancer in the different regions of the country is unknown.
Objectives: To study the incidence rate and the pattern of cancer at El Obeid Teaching Hospital, Western Sudan.
Patients and Methods: The records of all patients admitted with cancer to the wards of El Obeid Teaching Hospital, Western Sudan during 2006 and 2007 were studied. The cancers were classified according to the organs affected and then ranked in their order of relative frequency. The mean age, age range, gender, the incidence rates and the relative frequency rates were calculated.
Results: There were 111 new cancer patients in 2006 and 169 patients in 2007. Females were 52.9% of cases. The mean ages were 61.8 and 56.8 years for males and females respectively. Cancer of the gastrointestinal tract is the most common malignancy in both sexes, followed by
breast and then cervical cancer in females; while it was followed by leukaemia in males. Hepatocellular, oesophageal, gastric and recto-sigmoid were the main gut cancers.
Conclusions: Cancer of the gastrointestinal tract was the commonest malignancy at El Obeid Hospital, Western Sudan. Establishment of a local radiation and isotopes centre is needed in this part of the country to provide oncology services and integrate preventive programs. A regional cancer registry centre supplements the national efforts to evaluate the magnitude of the problem in order to plan further future strategies.
Key words: Hepatocellular, malignancies, oesophageal cancer.
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