Introduction Tunisia as a developing country is passing through an epidemiologic changing with less infectious diseases and the occurrence of several other chronic diseases.Cancer is becoming a major problem of public health. The registry of cancer in Tunisia started in 1997 by the creation of the cancer registry of Northern Tunisia (CRNT), a population registry involving about half the population.This study aimed to present data of the CRNT including the epidemiologic profile and the evolution of the incidence rate of most cancers sites during a 10 year period (1994–2003) in the north of the country.
Methods Referring to the CRNT data,we were able to determine the repartition of cancer according to sex,to calculate the brut and standardised incidence rate with a direct method on the basis of a world reference population. We could also find the incidence evolution and the cancer number of cases between 1994 and 2003.The results were compared to other registries data.
Results From 1999 to 2003, the CRNT registered the average of 5049 cases per annum of invasive cancers. This average was about 3744 in 1994. The increase was about 36% in a 10 year period. The brut incidence rate was 120.2 in men and 94.8 in women. If standardised on age according to a referent world population, the result stayed the same (133.2 v/s101.4). Lung cancer occurred first in men and then bladder cancer. In women, the increased brut incidences concerned breast cancer and colon cancer, cervical cancer occupied the fourth position after the skin cancer. Over the period (1994–2003), the increase of 36% in cancer occurrence is due in men to the 60% increase of lung, colon and prostate cancer cases and in women the increase of 50% of breast cancer new cases and then 10% of colon cancer cases.
Conclusion It seems that there is a continuous increasing of some cancers in Tunisia: breast cancer in women and lung cancer in men, colon cancer for both.
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