Primary malignancies of bone and cartilage in Karachi

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Introduction: Primary sarcomas of bone and cartilage (BS) are a group of rare neoplasms, with limitedinformation from Pakistan. The present population-based study was conducted with the objective of examiningdescriptive epidemiological characteristics of BS in Karachi.
Materials and methods: Epidemiological data of68 BS registered at Karachi Cancer Registry for Karachi South during 1st January 1995 to 31st December 1997were reviewed.
: Forty six (66.7%) cases were diagnosed in males and 23 (33.3%) in females. BS accountedfor 2.2% and 1.1% of all cancers in males and females, respectively. The age standardized rate (ASR) world per100,000 was 1.75 in males and 1.00 in females. Microscopic confirmation was 99.0%. The mean age of male andfemale patients were 26.7 years (SD ±17.4) and 24.3 years (SD ±16.0) respectively. In males 14 (30.4%) BS werediagnosed in the 0-14 year age group and 23 (50.0%) cases in the below 20 years age group. The distribution infemales was 31 (67.4%) and 8 (34.8%) cases, respectively. Approximately half the cases (34.8% males; 47.8%females) were observed in the lower limbs. The most common morphology was osteosarcoma (30.5% males;43.4% females), followed by Ewing’s sarcoma (23.9%) in males and giant cell tumor (13.0%) in females. Agespecificcurves showed a gradual increase in risk from the first until the fifth decade in males, and second tofourth decade in females. The age-specific curves were bimodal. In both genders the first peak was observed at10-14 years but a second peak was observed at 70-74 years in males and 65-69 years in females. The cardinalsymptoms that lead to the diagnosis of bone tumors were pain (22 cases; 32.4%) and spontaneous fractures (45cases; 66.2%).
Conclusion: Karachi falls into a high risk region for BS, which were observed in a relativelyyounger population, with a male predominance and a high frequency of osteosarcoma. The underlying factorsfor BS in Karachi need to be addressed considering the overwhelming proportion of youngsters at risk and thelate presentation.


Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention