Cancer in the Gambia: 1988-97.Br J Cancer 2001; 84(9):1207-14BJ
We describe the incidence of cancer in The Gambia over a 10-year period using data collected through the Gambian National Cancer Registry. Major problems involved with cancer registration in a developing country, specifically in Africa are discussed. The data accumulated show a low overall rate of cancer incidence compared to more developed parts of the world. The overall age standardized incidence rates (ASR) were 61.0 and 55.7 per 100 000 for males and females, respectively. In males, liver cancer was most frequent, comprising 58% of cases (ASR 35.7) followed by non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 5.4% (ASR 2.4), lung 4.0%, (ASR 2.8) and prostate 3.3% (ASR 2.5) cancers. The most frequent cancers in females were cervix uteri 34.0% (ASR 18.9), liver 19.4% (ASR 11.2), breast 9.2% (ASR 5.5) and ovary 3.2% (ASR 1.6). The data indicate that cancers of the liver and cervix are the most prevalent cancers, and are likely to be due to infectious agents. It is hoped that immunization of children under 1 year against hepatitis B will drastically reduce the incidence of liver cancer in The Gambia.