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Utilization of Google Earth for Distribution Mapping of Cholangiocarcinoma: a Case Study in Satuek District, Buriram, Thailand

  • Rattanasing, Wannaporn (Environmental Managent Technology Program, Faculty of Science and Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University) ;
  • Kaewpitoon, Soraya J (Parasitic Disease Research, Institute of Medicine, Suranaree University of Technology) ;
  • Loyd, Ryan A (Department of Family Medicine and Community Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Suranaree University of Technology) ;
  • Rujirakul, Ratana (Parasitic Disease Research, Institute of Medicine, Suranaree University of Technology) ;
  • Yodkaw, Eakachai (Division of Family Medicine and Community Medicine, Satuek Hospital) ;
  • Kaewpitoon, Natthawut (Parasitic Disease Research, Institute of Medicine, Suranaree University of Technology)
  • Published : 2015.09.02

Abstract

Background: Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a serious public health problem in the Northeast of Thailand. CCA is considered to be an incurable and rapidly lethal disease. Knowledge of the distribution of CCA patients is necessary for management strategies. Objectives: This study aimed to utilize the Geographic Information System and Google $Earth^{TM}$ for distribution mapping of cholangiocarcinoma in Satuek District, Buriram, Thailand, during a 5-year period (2008-2012). Materials and Methods: In this retrospective study data were collected and reviewed from the OPD cards, definitive cases of CCA were patients who were treated in Satuek hospital and were diagnosed with CCA or ICD-10 code C22.1. CCA cases were used to analyze and calculate with ArcGIS 9.2, all of data were imported into Google Earth using the online web page www.earthpoint.us. Data were displayed at village points. Results: A total of 53 cases were diagnosed and identified as CCA. The incidence was 53.57 per 100,000 population (65.5 for males and 30.8 for females) and the majority of CCA cases were in stages IV and IIA. The average age was 67 years old. The highest attack rate was observed in Thung Wang sub-district (161.4 per 100,000 population). The map display at village points for CCA patients based on Google Earth gave a clear visual deistribution. Conclusions: CCA is still a major problem in Satuek district, Buriram province of Thailand. The Google Earth production process is very simple and easy to learn. It is suitable for the use in further development of CCA management strategies.

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