Open Access Research article

Time trends of cancer incidence in Setif, Algeria, 1986–2010: an observational study

Mokhtar Hamdi Cherif1, Diego Serraino2, Abbes Mahnane1, Slimane Laouamri1, Zoubida Zaidi1, Hafida Boukharouba1, Dahbia Cherka1, Manel Rakeb1, Lamia Kara1, Asma Ayat1, Silvia Birri2, Saverio Virdone2, Paolo De Paoli2 and Ettore Bidoli2*

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Medicine, University of Setif, Algeria

2 Unit of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, IRCCS, via Franco Gallini 2, 33081 Aviano, PN, Italy

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BMC Cancer 2014, 14:637  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-637

Published: 30 August 2014



Incidence rates of various cancers are increasing in Arab countries and are expected to reach those of industrialized ones in few decades. This paper aimed to describe the incidence rates of most common cancers - and/or of those cancer preventable through modifiable behaviors - recorded in the province of Setif, Algeria from 1986 through 2010.


Cancer diagnoses for the 1986–2010 period were provided by the population-based Cancer Registry of Setif, disentangled by site, morphology, age (quinquennia), sex, and calendar period. The corresponding population was obtained from the Algerian Institute of Statistics. Age-standardized rates (world population) (ASR-WR) were computed by calendar period (five quinquennias from 1986–1990 to 2006–2010), while annual percent changes (APCs) were computed for the period 1996–2010.


During the 2006–2010 period, ASR-WR for all cancer sites were 106.4/100,000 in men and 110.3 in women. The four leading cancers were: lung (18.0%); colon-rectum (9.6%); bladder (9.1%); and prostate (6.5%) in men; breast (36.4%); colon-rectum (8.5%); cervix uteri (6.0%); and thyroid (6.0%) in women. Between 1996–2010, overall cancer incidence increased statistically significantly (p < 0.05) in both men (APC = +2.5%) and women (APC = +3.7%). Statistically significant decreasing trends were observed for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (APC = -3.4%) in men, and for cervical (APC = -4.2%) and gallbladder (APC = -3.2%) cancers in women. Statistically significant increasing trends were observed for most common cancers both in men (lung:+1.8%, colon-rectum:+5.4%, prostate:+4.3%, liver:+8.9%, and bladder:+5.9%) and women (breast:+8.2%, colon-rectum:+4.5%, lung:+10.0%, liver:+5.4%, thyroid:+5.3%, and larynx:+13.8%).


International recommendations against cancer must be strongly promoted in Setif after taking into account epidemiological transition, lifestyle, and environmental changes.

Cancer incidence; Time trends; Setif; Algeria; North-Africa