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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-7

Epidemiology of Gastrointestinal Malignancies in Nigeria:Port Harcourt Cancer Registry Study


1 Department of Anatomical Pathology and Cancer Registry Unit, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
2 Department of General Surgery (Endoscopy and Minimal Access Surgery Unit), University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Christopher Chinedu Obiorah
Department of Anatomical Pathology and Cancer Registry Unit, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/oji.oji_30_19

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Background: Undocumented observations suggest a rising incidence of gastrointestinal tract cancers (GITc) among urban dwellers in Nigeria. Aim: The aim is to report on the incidence and clinic-pathological characteristics of GITc in Port Harcourt and its environs. Materials and Methods: Clinical, pathological, and demographic information on cancer patients obtained from various hospitals, radiology centers, and pathology laboratories within Port Harcourt and Obio-Akpor local government areas of Rivers state between 2008 and 2017 were reviewed. The information was coded using the International Classification of Diseases for Oncology, 3rd Edition and stored in Canreg 4 software in the Port Harcourt cancer registry. Results: GITc constituted the third-most common systemic cancers consisting of 12.2% (328 cases) with a male-to-female ratio of 1.05:1. The annual age-standardized rate ranged between 1.1–21.6/100,000 for females and 1.8–15.9/100,000 for males, with the highest rate recorded in 2017. The mean age was 51.2 ± 15.8 years with bimodal peak age groups of 50–54 and 55–59 years. The most common sites for GITc were colorectal followed by the liver and stomach consisting of 44.5%, 16.5%, and 15.2% of cases, respectively. Epithelial malignancies, i.e., carcinomas markedly predominated over malignancies of other cell types such as mesenchymal cell malignancies, lymphoreticular cell malignancies, and germ cell malignancies and constituted 92.4% of total GITc. Conclusion: GITc is posing a public health challenge in Port Harcourt and environs. A government-sponsored health plan on cancer control, including awareness campaigns on the adoption of more healthy lifestyles, hepatitis B vaccination, colonoscopy screening with prompt treatment, is advocated.


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