National Cancer Registry of Pakistan: First Comprehensive Report of Cancer Statistics 2015-2019

J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2023 Jun;33(6):625-632. doi: 10.29271/jcpsp.2023.06.625.


Objective: To compile a comprehensive national cancer registry report of Pakistan by merging and analysing cancer registration data received from major functional cancer registries in various parts of Pakistan.

Study design: Observational study. Place and Duration of the Study: Health Research Institute (HRI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Islamabad, from 2015-2019.

Methodology: Data from major cancer registries which included 'Punjab Cancer Registry (PCR), 'Karachi Cancer Registry (KCR)', 'Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Cancer Registry', Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) Cancer Registry, Nishtar Medical University Hospital Multan (NMH), and Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad (SIH) registries were pooled, cleared, and analysed at HRI.

Results: A total of 269,707 cancer cases were analysed. Gender-wise 46.7% were males and 53.61% were females. As per province-wise distribution, 45.13% of cases were from Punjab, 26.83% from Sindh, 16.46% from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and 3.52% from Baluchistan. Both genders combined, 'breast cancer' 57633 (21.4%) was the most common cancer. In males, the top-5 cancers in order of frequency/percenatages were 'oral' 14477 (11.6%), 'liver' 8398 (6.73%), colorectal 8024 (6.43%), 'lung' 7547 (6.05%) and 'prostate' 7322 (5.87% cancers). In females, causes of the top-5-cancers included 'breast' 56250 (38.8%), 'ovary' 8823 (6.09%), 'oral' 7195 (4.97%), 'cervix' 6043 (4.17%), and 'colorectal' 4860 (3.36%) cancers. In children 'Leukemia' 1626 (14.50%) and in adolescents 'Bone' 880 (14%) were the leading malignancies.

Conclusion: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in females touching epidemic proportions while 'oral cancer' which is the leading cancer in males ranks third in frequency in females. Like 'oral cancer' which shows a strong correlation with chewing, other common cancers in Pakistan including liver cancer, lung cancer, and cervical cancer are also largely preventable as showed a strong correlation with hepatitis B and C, smoking, and high-risk human papillomavirus.

Key words: National Cancer Registry, Health Research Institute - NIH, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Breast Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lung Neoplasms*
  • Male
  • Mouth Neoplasms*
  • Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Pakistan / epidemiology
  • Registries