Document Type

Article

Department

Pathology and Microbiology

Abstract

Introduction: Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan, is located at latitude 30,25; longitude 67.00. It has a population of 759,245; 425,474 males (56%) and 333,771 females (44%); Census 1998. The majority of residents are Persian or Baluchi speaking Baluchs.

Methodology: The cancer cases from Quetta reported to the Karachi Cancer Registry were reviewed. The data included cases from the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), Pathology Department (Quetta collection point) and health care facilities in Karachi. The residents of Baluchistan were ascertained and cancer cases residents of Quetta identified with the help of recorded addresses and retraceable telephone numbers.

Results: During a 2-year period, 1st January 1998 to 31st December 1999 the Karachi Cancer Registry received 1077 cancer notifications from Quetta. Approximately half the cases were registered from the AKUH Quetta collection point. Others were the referral patterns in Karachi. The age-standardized incidence rate (ASR) of cancer, all sites (1998-99) was 137.0 for males and 92.8/100,000 for females. The commonest cancer in the males and females was cancer of the esophagus (lCD­10 categories C15; males- ASR 25.5, 17.2 %; females- ASR 23.4, 23.1%). One of the highest in the world, for both genders. Incidence of cancer breast in the females (lCD-10 categories C50; ASR 11.8, 13.3%) was low,

Conclusion: The cancer data from Quetta is quite distinct from the cancer pattern of Karachi. It represents only a part of the cancer burden of Quetta; nonetheless it gives a glimpse into the cancer profile of Baluchistan. The high incidence of esophageal cancer indicates an extension of the geographical limits of the esophageal cancer belt.

Publication

Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association

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