Cancers among South-East Asian Nationals in Brunei Darussalam

  • Published : 2016.03.07


Background: Worldwide, the incidence of cancers is increasing and is becoming a major public health issue, including those in the Asia Pacific region. South-East Asia is a region with diverse populations with different disease spectra. This study looked at the spectrum of cancers among South-East Asians working in Brunei Darussalam. Materials and Methods: The cancer registry from 1994 to 2012 maintained by the State Laboratory was retrospectively reviewed. Crude incidence rates were calculated based on the population census of 2010. Results: Altogether, there was a total of 418 cancer cases diagnosed among South-East Asians, giving an incidence of 5.1% (n=418/8,253). The affected nationals in decreasing frequency were Malaysians (53.1%), followed by Filipinos (25.8%), Indonesians (15.3%), Thais (3.8%), Myanmese (1.7%) and Vietnamese (0.2%) with no recorded cases for Singapore and the People's Republic of Laos. The overall mean age of diagnosis was $46.1{\pm}4.2$ years old, with an increasing trend over the years (p<0.05 ANOVA). The overall gender ratio was 42.3:57.7 (male:female), more females among the Filipinos and Indonesians, more males among the Thais, and equal representation among the Malaysians and the Myanmese. The most common were cancers of the digestive system (19.9%), followed by female reproductive/gynecologic system (16.0%), breast (15.6%), hematological/lymphatic (12.0%) and head/neck (8.1%). There were differences in the prevalence of cancers among the various nationalities with highest crude incidence rate among the Myanmese (141.2/100,000), followed by the Malaysian (88.5/100,000), and the Filipinos (40.6/100,000) and the lowest among the Thais (18.4/100,000), Indonesians (10.5/100,000) and the Vietnamese (6.3/100,000). Conclusions: Cancers among South-East Asian residing in Brunei Darussalam accounted for 5.1% of all cancers. The most common cancers were cancers of the digestive, gynecologic/female reproductive system and breast with certain types slowly increasing in proportions. There mean age of diagnoses was increasing.



  1. Ali R, Barnes I, Cairns BJ, et al (2013). Incidence of gastrointestinal cancers by ethnic group in England, 2001-2007. Gut, 62, 1692-703.
  2. Chang HJ, Chen WX, Lin EC, et al (2014). Delay in seeking medical evaluations and predictors of self-efficacy among women with newly diagnosed breast cancer: a longitudinal study. Int J Nurs Stud, 51, 1036-47.
  3. Eav S, Schraub S, Dufour P, et al (2012). Oncology in cambodia. Oncol, 82, 269-274.
  4. Giddings BH, Kwong SL, Parikh-Patel A, Bates JH, Snipes KP (2012). Going against the tide: increasing incidence of colorectal cancer among koreans, filipinos, and south asians in california, 1988-2007. Cancer Causes Control, 23, 691-702.
  5. International Agency for Research on Cancer. Globocan 2012: Estimated cancer incidence, mortality and Prevalence Worldwide 2012.
  6. Jung M, Ramanadhan S, Viswanath K (2013). Effect of information seeking and avoidance behavior on self-rated health status among cancer survivors. Patient Educ Couns, 92, 100-6.
  7. Laudico AV, Mirasol-Lumague MR, Mapua CA, et al (2010). Cancer incidence and survival in metro Manila and Rizal Province, Philippines, Jpn J Clin Oncol, 40, 603-12.
  8. Maringe C, Mangtani P, Rachet B, et al (2013). Cancer incidence in South Asian migrants to england, 1986-2004: unraveling ethnic from socioeconomic differentials. Int J Cancer, 132, 1886-94.
  9. Menon U, Szalacha LA, Prabhughate A (2012). Breast and cervical cancer screening among South Asian immigrants in the United States. Cancer Nurs, 35, 278-87.
  10. Moore MA, Ariyaratne Y, Badar F, et al (2010). Cancer epidemiology in South Asia - past, present and future. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 11, 49-66.
  11. Moore MA, Attasara P, Khuhaprema T, et al (2011). Cancer epidemiology in mainland South-East Asia - past, present and future. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 11, 67-80.
  12. Moore MA, Manan AA, Chow KY, et al (2010). Cancer epidemiology and control in peninsular and island South-East Asia - past, present and future. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 11, 81-98.
  13. National cancer registry report. Malaysia cancer statistics- data and figure 2007.
  14. National Registry of Disease Office (NRDO). Singapore cancer registry interim annual registry report trends in cancer incidence in Singapore 2008-2012. (Retrieved 18th March 2015).
  15. Othman NH, Nor ZM, Biswal BM (2008). Is Kelantan, joining the global cancer epidemic?--experience from hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia; 1987-2007. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 9, 473-8.
  16. Teo MC, Soo KC (2013). Cancer trends and incidences in Singapore. Jpn J Clin Oncol, 43, 219-24.
  17. Vuong DA, Velasco-Garrido M, Lai TD, Busse R (2010). Temporal trends of cancer incidence in Vietnam, 1993-2007. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 11, 739-45.
  18. Wahidin M, Noviani R, Hermawan S, et al (2012). Populationbased cancer registration in Indonesia. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 13, 1709-10.
  19. Wirasorn K, Suwanrungruag K, Wiangnon S, Punjaruk W (2014). Numbers of new cases and trends of cancer 1993-2012: srinagarind hospital based population, Khon Kaen, north- East Thailand. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 15, 8423-7.
  20. Woodward M (2014). A Consensus plan for action to improve access to cancer care in the association of southeast asian nations (ASEAN) region. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 15, 8521-6.