There are no population-based data available for the cancer patterns in Eastern India. This is the first report of cancer incidence in the region from the population-based cancer registry in Kolkata (Calcutta), the capital city of the state of West Bengal, India, for the period 1998-1999. The cancer registry collects data on all new cases of cancer diagnosed in the resident population of Kolkata. Since cancer is not a notifiable disease in India, registration is carried out by active data collection by the registry staff. The cancer registry staff visits 50 data sources comprising cancer hospitals, secondary and tertiary care hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic laboratories and death registration offices; scrutinizes medical records and collects details on incident cancer cases. A customized version of CanReg-3 software was used for data entry and analysis. A total of 11,700 cases were registered during the 2-year period from 1 January 1998 to 31 December 1999. The overall age-adjusted (world population) incidence rates were 102.1 per 100,000 males and 114.6 per 100,000 females. The most frequently reported malignancies in males were lung cancer (16.3%), followed by cancers of the oral cavity (7.1%), pharynx (5.7%) and larynx (5.7%). In females, the most frequently reported malignancies were breast (22.7%) followed by uterine cervix (17.5%), gallbladder (6.4%) and ovary (5.8%). The data reported by the Kolkata cancer registry provide information on the cancer profile in Eastern India for the first time. The highest incidence rate of lung cancer in males in India is reported from Calcutta. A high risk of gallbladder cancer is observed in women. The observed cancer patterns indicate that tobacco-control measures and early detection of head and neck, breast and cervical cancers are of importance for cancer control in this population.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.