Title

Epidemiology of Ocular Malignancies in Karachi

Document Type

Article

Department

Pathology and Microbiology

Abstract

The study was conducted with the objective of examining descriptive epidemiological characteristics of malignant ‍ocular tumours in Karachi (1998-2002). The data for two hundred and forty two ocular malignancies registered at ‍the Karachi Cancer Registry for Karachi Division during a 5-year period, from January 1st 1998 to December 31st ‍2002 were analysed. The age standardized incidence rate (ASIR) was 0.5/100,000 in males and 0.4/100,000 in females. ‍The gender ratio (M:F) was 1.3. The mean age was 34.8 years (95% CI 30.1; 39.6) in males and 34.5 years (95% CI ‍28.0; 40.9) in females. A fourth of the malignancies were childhood tumours. The most common childhood malignancies ‍were retinoblastomas and rhabdomyosarcomas, whereas the most common adult malignancies were conjunctival ‍squamous cell carcinomas and melanomas. Approximately 97.0% of the tumours were histologically confirmed. ‍The majority (62.5%) presented as low-grade (grade 1) lesions, and were localized to the eye (50%) at the time of ‍diagnosis. The annual incidence rates remained stable during this period. ‍The crucial importance of ocular malignancies is the high 5-year survival rates, associated disability following ‍unilateral or bilateral enucleation and the implications as preventable components of ‘Cancer Control Programs’. ‍This article provides demographic statistics, which could be useful for the foundation, establishment and monitoring ‍of a component of an effective cancer control program, the risk factors of ocular malignancies being well established. ‍It is recommended that public health education to prevent ultraviolet light related ocular malignancies, information ‍on preventative sun protection behavior, legislation for occupation related ocular cancers and genetic counseling for ‍familial retinoblastoma should be essential primary components of all National Cancer Control Programs even in ‍apparently low risk countries. In the long-term perspective, these efforts should further reduce the incidence - ‍meanwhile stabilization of incidence rates could be achieved. Early detection and standardized treatment will reduce ‍the associated morbidity and mortality.

Publication

Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention