Incidence of cancer esophagus in Quetta and Karachi, Pakistan

Document Type



Pathology and Microbiology


Objective: To study the differences in the incidence of cancer esophagus in Karachi and Quetta, Pakistan.

Methods: Incident cases of cancer esophagus registered from January 1, 1995 to December 31, 2000 were included for Karachi South, and those registered from January 1, 1998 to December 31, 2000 were included for Karachi Division and Quetta.

Results: In Quetta, cancer esophagus had age-standardized incidence rate (ASIR) of 25.5/100,000 population in males and 23.4/100,000 population in females, and it was the commonest malignancy in both genders. In comparison, in Karachi South and Karachi Division, cancer esophagus ranked 7th among cancers in males (ASIR 6.2/100,000 and 5.0/100,000 population, respectively) and 5th in females (7.0/100,000 and 4.9/100,000 population, respectively). The ASIR was similar among males and females in all data sets.

Conclusion: The incidence of cancer esophagus in Quetta is comparable to that in high-incidence regions, whereas the incidence in Karachi is similar to that in moderate-incidence zones. In contrast to other world regions, cancer esophagus was equally common in males and females in Pakistan. The high risk in Quetta warrants investigation for risk factors and a targeted cancer control program.


Indian Journal of Gastroenterology