Background: We aimed to present the temporal and geographical trends in the incidence of stomach cancer in the Golestan province, a high-risk area in Northern Iran.
Methods: This study was conducted on stomach cancer cases registered in the Golestan Population-based Cancer Registry (GPCR) during 2004-2016. Age-standardized incidence rates (ASRs) per 100000 person-years were calculated. The Joinpoint regression analysis was used to calculate the average annual percent changes (AAPC). We also calculated the contribution of population aging, population size and risk to the overall changes in incidence rates.
Results: Overall, 2964 stomach cancer patients were registered. The ASR of stomach cancer was significantly higher in men (26.9) than women (12.2) (P<0.01). There was a significant decreasing trend in incidence of stomach cancer in men (AAPC=-1.80, 95% CI: -3.30 to-0.28; P=0.02). We found a higher ASR of stomach cancer in the rural (21.4) than urban (18.1) (P=0.04) population, as well as a significant decreasing trend in its rates (AAPC=-2.14, 95% CI: -3.10to-1.17; P<0.01). The number of new cases of stomach cancer increased by 22.33% (from 215 in 2004 to 263 in 2016), of which 18.1%, 25.1% and -20.9% were due to population size, population aging and risk, respectively. Our findings suggest a higher rate for stomach cancer in eastern areas.
Conclusion: We found high incidence rates as well as temporal and geographical diversities in ASR of stomach cancer in Golestan, Iran. Our results showed an increase in the number of new cases, mainly due to population size and aging. Further studies are warranted to determine the risk factors of this cancer in this high-risk population.