Changing cancer incidence in Kampala, Uganda, 1991-2006

Int J Cancer. 2010 Mar 1;126(5):1187-95. doi: 10.1002/ijc.24838.


Incidence rates of different cancers have been calculated for the population of Kyadondo County (Kampala, Uganda) for a 16-year period (1991-2006). This period coincides with continuing social and lifestyle changes and the peak and subsequent wane of the epidemic of HIV-AIDS. There has been an overall increase in the risk of cancer during the period in both sexes, with the incidence rates of cancers of the breast and prostate showing particularly marked increases (4.5% annually). Prostate cancer is now the most common cancer in men. The incidence of cancer of the esophagus, formerly the most common cancer in men and second in frequency in women, has remained relatively constant, whereas the incidence of cancer of the cervix, the most common malignancy in women, continues to increase. Since the early 1990s the incidence of Kaposi sarcoma (KS) in men has declined, and while remaining relatively constant in women, it has been diagnosed at progressively later ages. The rates of pediatric KS have declined by about 1/3rd. The incidence of squamous cell cancers of the conjunctiva has also declined since the mid 1990s. Cancer control in Uganda, as elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, involves meeting the challenge of emerging cancers associated with westernization of lifestyles (large bowel, breast and prostate); although the incidence of cancers associated with poverty and infection (liver, cervix, esophagus) shows little decline, the residual burden of the AIDS-associated cancers remains a major burden.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Uganda / epidemiology
  • Young Adult