This is a cross sectional record based study that included all registered cancer cases in Basrah Oncology Center for 6
years period (1997-2002). The number of deaths due to cancer and the total population of Basrah for these years were
obtained from Basrah Health Office, and Central Statistical Bureau, respectively. The study showed that the incidence of
cancer in Basrah steadily increased in the years (1997-2002). It increased from 17.9/100,000 population in 1997 to 25.4/
100,000 population in 2002. The increase in the incidence was more marked for males where the incidence increased
from 13.4/100,000 in 1997 to 24.5 /100,000 in 2002.Despite this increase the incidence and mortality rates of cancer in
Basrah were less than that reported in Western societies by more than 10 times. These rates were also less than that
registered in Baghdad or Nineveh. The rates in Western Basrah were less than that in the center or the East of the city.
This may reduce the significance of the carcinogenic effect of industrial pollution or the use of depleted uranium in this
part of Basrah. The deficient screening programs and recording system for cancer can be explanations for the low
incidence of cancer in Basrah.