Background: The present study aims to assess the incidence and mortality rates of gynecological cancers and their changes from 1990 to 2016 at national and subnational levels in Iran.
Methods: Annual estimates of incidence and mortality for gynecological cancers from 1990 to 2016 at national and subnational levels were generated as part of a larger project entitled National and Subnational Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors (NASBOD). After the precise processing of data extracted from the Iran Cancer Registry, annual age-standardized incidence and mortality rates were calculated for each cancer, province, year and age group during the period of the study.
Results: In 2016, gynecological cancers constituted 8.0% of new cancer cases among women of all ages compared to 3.7% of new cases of cancer among women in 1990. The incidence rate of gynecological cancers has increased from 2.5 (0.9-5.6) per 100000 women in 1990 to 12.3 (9.3–15.7) per 100000 women in 2016, and the most common gynecological cancer has changed from cervical cancer in 1990 to corpus uteri cancer in 2016. Age-standardized incidence rates of ovarian, corpus uteri and vulvovaginal cancers increased from 1.3 (0.5–2.4), 1.7 (0.6–3.0), and 0.3 (0.0–0.7) in 1990 to 4.4 (3.6–5.2), 9.9 (6.8–13.4), and 0.6 (0.2–1.0) in 2016, respectively, showing a 3.3, 5.8 and 1.7-fold increase during this period. Age-standardized incidence rate of cervical cancer was 2.4 (1.7–3.3) cases per 100000 women in 2016 and did not differ significantly from the beginning of the study. An overall reduction was seen in national mortality to incidence ratios (MIR) from 2000 to 2015.
Conclusion: The incidence rates of all gynecological cancers in different provinces have shown a converging trend that could indicate that attempts toward health equality have been effective. The declining trend of MIR could be interpreted as advancements in detection of cancer in its early stages and also improvements in treatments, in turn reflecting improvements in access to and quality of care.