Epidemiological Study of Lung Cancer Incidence in Lebanon

Medicina (Kaunas). 2019 May 28;55(6):217. doi: 10.3390/medicina55060217.


Background and Objectives: Lung cancer (LC) is the most common cancer in the world. Developing countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, including Lebanon, have witnessed a great increase in the incidence rates of this disease. The aim of our study is to investigate the incidence rates of lung cancer in Lebanon from 2005 to 2015 and to compare these rates to other countries from the MENA region and other regions of the world. Material and Methods: Lung cancer data for the years 2005-2015 were collected from the National Cancer Registry of Lebanon and stratified by gender and age group. Age-specific and age-standardized incidence rates were calculated and analyzed using joinpoint regression. Age-standardized incidence rates to the world population (ASR(w)) for other countries were obtained from two online databases. Results: Lung cancer ranked as the second most common cancer in Lebanon and accounted for 9.2% of all newly diagnosed cancers. Lung cancer ASR(w) showed a significantly increasing trend over the period studied for males and females. Lung cancer ASR(w) among males in Lebanon came second after Malta when compared to other MENA countries, but it was among the lowest when compared to non-MENA countries. For females, Lebanon ranked first when compared to other MENA countries but was among the lowest when compared to countries in other regions of the world. The lung cancer incidence rate increased with age in both sexes and 89.2% of patients were 50 years of age or older. Conclusion: Lebanon has the highest incidence of LC in females and the second highest for males in the MENA region. The lung cancer incidence rate is on the rise and older age groups are much more burdened by this disease than the young ones. Several risk factors, particularly smoking, play a role in increased LC incidence among the Lebanese population.

Keywords: Lebanon; epidemiology; lung cancer; oncology.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lebanon / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data