Cancer incidence in eastern Libya: The first report from the Benghazi Cancer Registry, 2003.

Original article


El Mistiri M, Verdecchia A, Rashid I, El Sahli N, El Mangush M, Federico M.

Benghazi Cancer Registry, Department of Oncology and Hematology, Garyounis University, Benghazi, Libya.

Int J Cancer. 2007 Jan 15;120(2):392-7.


Cancer registration in Northern Africa is still limited and, until now, there have been no population-based data available for Libya. In this paper, we present the first data collected and analyzed by the Benghazi Cancer Registry. Registration was carried out by active data collection; the registry staff routinely visited all hospitals and pathological laboratories in eastern Libya (1.6 million inhabitants) and collected information from all death registration offices. A huge archive of prevalent cases was established before the 2003 data were collected. A total of 997 cases of primary cancers were registered among residents in 2003. The world age-standardized incidence rate for all sites combined (except nonmelanoma skin) was 118 per 100,000 for men and 95 per 100,000 for women. The most frequently diagnosed malignancies in males were lung cancer (19%) and colorectal cancer (10%), followed by cancers of the head and neck (9%) and bladder (9%). Among females, they were breast cancer (26%), cancer of the colon and rectum (9%), uterus (7%) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (5%). Our study provides data on cancer incidence in eastern Libya, and confirms that cancer incidence is much lower than in western countries. Moreover, observed patterns indicate that the incidence of many cancers, including those of the lung, breast, colon, rectum and bladder is quite different from previous estimates based on the data available from the neighboring countries.

Keywords: Benghazi , cancer , incidence , Libya • population-based registry