Trends in breast and cervical cancer in India under National Cancer Registry Programme: An Age-Period-Cohort analysis

Cancer Epidemiol. 2021 Oct:74:101982. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2021.101982. Epub 2021 Jul 16.


Background: Trend analysis in cancer quantifies the incidence rate and explains the trend and pattern. Breast and cervical cancers are the two most common cancers among Indian women which contributed 39.4 % to the total cancer in India for the year 2020. This study aimed to report the time trends in cancer incidence of breast and cervical cancer using Age-Period-Cohort (APC) model from five Population Based Cancer Registries (PBCRs) in India for the period of 1985-2014.

Method: Age-Period-Cohort model was fitted to five PBCRs of Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Bhopal and Barshi rural for breast and cervical cancer for 25-74 age-groups. The Estimated Annual Percent Change (EAPC) was calculated. Rate Ratio (RR) of cohort effects were estimated with a constraint of period slope to be zero (p = 0) since cohort has a stronger association with incidence than period.

Result: A significant increase was noted in breast cancer in all PBCRs (EAPC, Range: Delhi, 1.2 % to Bangalore, 2.7 %) while significant decrease in cervical cancer (EAPC, Range: Bangalore -2.5 % to Chennai, -4.6 %) from all the PBCRs including Barshi rural during the period. RR estimates for breast cancer showed increasing trend whereas cervical cancer showed decreasing trend in successive birth cohorts across all five PBCRs.

Conclusion: In both breast and cervical cancers, a significant age, cohort and period effect was noted in Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi. Despite period effect, the cohort effect was predominant and it may be attributed to the generational changes in risk factors among cancer breast and cervix.

Keywords: Age-period-cohort model; Breast cancer; Cervical cancer; NCRP; Trends.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • India / epidemiology
  • Registries
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms* / epidemiology