Prevalence of Esophageal Cancer in the Northern Part of Afghanistan

  • Published : 2015.01.22


Background: Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is the standard technique for diagnosis of patients presenting with upper gastrointestinal symptoms. Some reports have shown high prevalence of esophageal cancer in the northern part of Afghanistan. The aim of this study was to investigate epidemiological profile of esophageal cancer among patients in this region. Materials and Methods: We identified 364 consecutive patients that received EGD examinations to examine upper gastrointestinal tract at the endoscopy unit of Balkh regional Hospital from March 2012 to March 2013. The case subjects included both in-patients and out-patients aged 16 years or more. We evaluated the results retrospectively. Results: The cases consisted of 184 (51%) males and 180 (49%) females. The mean age was $47.3{\pm}17.8$ and the age range 17-88 years. Ninety two cases had esophageal cancer, out of which 58 (63.0%) were male. The mean age at time of diagnosis was $57.8{\pm}13.2years$. Uzbek-Turkmen peoples were more common among patients with esophageal cancer (52.2%). Dysphagia was the most frequent symptom among patients with esophageal cancer at the time of presentation, seen in 77 (84.8%) of cases. Conclusions: Our results showed high incidence of esophageal cancer in the northern part of Afghanistan, especially in the Uzbek-Turkmen ethnic group.


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