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Open Access Research article

Cancer incidence in Ghana, 2012: evidence from a population-based cancer registry

Dennis O Laryea12*, Baffour Awuah23, Yaw A Amoako4, E Osei-Bonsu3, Joslin Dogbe5, Rita Larsen-Reindorf6, Daniel Ansong7, Kwasi Yeboah-Awudzi8, Joseph K Oppong9, Thomas O Konney10, Kwame O Boadu11, Samuel B Nguah5, Nicholas A Titiloye12, Nicholas O Frimpong13, Fred K Awittor2 and Iman K Martin14

Author Affiliations

1 Public Health Unit, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

2 Kumasi Cancer Registry, c/o Public Health Unit, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

3 Department of Oncology, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

4 Department of Medicine, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

5 Department of Paediatrics, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

6 Department of Ear, Nose and Throat, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

7 Research and Development Unit, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

8 Metropolitan Directorate of Health Services, Ghana Health Service, Kumasi, Ghana

9 Department of Surgery, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

10 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

11 Kumasi South Regional Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

12 Department of Pathology, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

13 Biostatistics Unit, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

14 University of Washington, Northern Pacific Global Health Fellows, Kumasi, Ghana

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BMC Cancer 2014, 14:362  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-362

Published: 23 May 2014

Abstract

Background

Data on cancers is a challenge in most developing countries. Population-based cancer registries are also not common in developing countries despite the usefulness of such registries in informing cancer prevention and control programmes. The availability of population-based data on cancers in Africa varies across different countries. In Ghana, data and research on cancer have focussed on specific cancers and have been hospital-based with no reference population. The Kumasi Cancer Registry was established as the first population-based cancer registry in Ghana in 2012 to provide information on cancer cases seen in the city of Kumasi.

Methods

This paper reviews data from the Kumasi Cancer Registry for the year 2012. The reference geographic area for the registry is the city of Kumasi as designated by the 2010 Ghana Population and Housing Census. Data was from all clinical departments of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Pathology Laboratory Results, Death Certificates and the Kumasi South Regional Hospital. Data was abstracted and entered into Canreg 5 database. Analysis was conducted using Canreg 5, Microsoft Excel and Epi Info Version 7.1.2.0.

Results

The majority of cancers were recorded among females accounting for 69.6% of all cases. The mean age at diagnosis for all cases was 51.6 years. Among males, the mean age at diagnosis was 48.4 compared with 53.0 years for females. The commonest cancers among males were cancers of the Liver (21.1%), Prostate (13.2%), Lung (5.3%) and Stomach (5.3%). Among females, the commonest cancers were cancers of the Breast (33.9%), Cervix (29.4%), Ovary (11.3%) and Endometrium (4.5%). Histology of the primary tumour was the basis of diagnosis in 74% of cases with clinical and other investigations accounting for 17% and 9% respectively. The estimated cancer incidence Age Adjusted Standardised Rate for males was 10.9/100,000 and 22.4/100, 000 for females.

Conclusion

This first attempt at population-based cancer registration in Ghana indicates that such registries are feasible in resource limited settings as ours. Strengthening Public Health Surveillance and establishing more Population-based Cancer Registries will help improve data quality and national efforts at cancer prevention and control in Ghana.