Cancer in north west Pakistan and Afghan refugees

J Pak Med Assoc. 1997 Apr;47(4):122-4.


The medical records of all patients attending the Institute of Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine (IRNUM), Peshawar during 1990 and to 1994 were analysed to determine the frequency of most common cancers. There were 13,359 adults with biopsy proven cancers of these 10,371 belonged to the North West Frontier province (NWFP) and remaining 2,988 were Afghan refugees. In NWFP there were 55% males and 45% females, while in Afghan refugees there were 59% males and 41% females. Patients whose histopathology was doubtful or not available were excluded from the study. The most common male tumours were skin, lymphoma, oral cancer, urinary bladder, lung, oesophagus, soft tissue, prostate, brain and myeloid leukemia. Among male Afghan refugees the most common cancers were oesophagus, skin, lymphoma, oral cancer, soft tissue, myeloid leukemia, stomach, urinary bladder, testis and colorectal cancer. Breast cancer was the most common cancer in women.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Afghanistan
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Pakistan / epidemiology
  • Refugees*