Purpose: Despite the increasing burden of cancer occurred over recent years in the African continent, epidemiologic data from Northern Africa area have been so far sparse or absent. We present most recently available data from the Benghazi Cancer Registry concerning cancer incidence and mortality as well as the most comprehensive survival data set so far generated for cases diagnosed during 2003 to 2005 in Eastern Libya. Methods: We collected and analyzed data on cancer incidence, mortality and survival that were obtained over a 3-year study period from January 1st 2003 to December 31st 2005 from the Benghazi Cancer Registry. Results: A total of 3307 cancer patients were registered among residents during the study period. The world age-standardized incidence rate for all sites was 135.4 and 107.1 per 100,000 for males and females, respectively. The most common malignancies in men were cancers of lung (18.9%), colorectum (10.4%), bladder (10.1%), and prostate (9.4%); among women, they were breast (23.2%), colorectum (11.2%), corpus uteri (6.7%), and leukemia (5.1%). A total of 1367 deaths for cancer were recorded from 2003 to 2005; the leading causes of cancer death were cancers of the lung (29.3%), colorectum (8.2%), and brain (7.3%) in males and cancers of breast (14.8%), colorectum (10.6%), and liver (7%) in females. The 5-year relative survival for all cancer combined was 22.3%; survival was lower in men (19.8%) than in women (28.2%). Conclusions: This study provides an updated report on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival, in Eastern Libya which may represent a useful tool for planning future interventions toward a better cancer control.

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