This present study was conducted with the objective of providing the cancer profile of Larkana, the fourth largest city of Sindh, Province. The study included two sets of patients. The first set included the incident cancer cases, residents of Larkana, who reached Karachi for diagnosis or treatment. The second set consisted of the incident cancer cases registered at the Aga Khan University (AKU) Pathology collection points at Larkana during 1st January 2000 to 31st December 2002. The age-standardized rates (ASR) for cancer (all sites) were 134.2/100,000 in males and 110.3/100,000 in females. The most common malignancies in males were lymphoma, oral cavity, prostate, liver, and urinary bladder. Cancers in females were breast, oral cavity, lymphoma, skin and thyroid. Tobacco-associated cancers accounted for approximately 35.0% of the tumors in males and 18.6% in females. The gender ratio was 1.5, the mean age of cancer all sites was 45.5 years (95% CI 34.6; 56.4) in males and 42.9 years (95% CI 33.6; 52.2) in females. This is the first attempt to determine the cancer incidence pattern of Larkana and should serve as a guideline for estimation of the cancer burden of Pakistan and the cancer control program of the country. The data must be interpreted with care, as they are largely pathology-based with approximately 15-30% population-wise under-registration. However, the chances of selective collection bias were minimized as the AKU pathology specimens were collected from 2 centers within the city, Each collection centre provided diagnostic service to several health centres giving wide population coverage, thus ensuring adequate sampling from the entire city.
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