Background: At the present time, a national strategy is adopted in Iraq by the Iraqi Cancer Board to control cancer.
The strategy consists of six approaches to deal with the problem of cancer in Iraq. One of these approaches is to
establish a population based cancer registration. Among the important sources of data for such registry are hospital
based cancer registries.
Objective: To evaluate the cancer registry in Basrah General Hospital over a 4-year period (2005-2008) and to study
the pattern of cancer cases admitted to the same hospital during the same period.
Patients & methods: A descriptive retrospective record based study involving all diagnosed cancer cases admitted to
Basrah General Hospital over a four-year period (2005-2008) was carried out. Cancer cases were identified by
examining inpatients records that are available in each of the studied wards. Further the information related to each
cancer case derived from the inpatients records and compared with data recorded and compiled by the cancer
registration unit in Basrah General Hospital. This was performed to assess the reliability and adequacy of hospital
cancer registry as an important source of data about cancer cases diagnosed or admitted to the hospital.
Results: The total admitted cancer cases identified during 2005-2008 were 1207. Male cancer cases represented
61.4% of the total cases, while females represented 38.6%. The most frequent age group among males was 65-74
years compared to a younger age group for females (45-54 years). Majority of patients were inhabitants of Basrah
governorate (70.8%).The total admitted cancer cases during 2005, 27006, 2007 and 2008 were 263, 288, 353 and 303
respectively. The most frequent type of admitted cancer cases to Basrah General Hospital was urinary bladder cancer
forming 43.8% of total admitted cases. It ranked as the first male cancer accounting for 53.9% of total males' cases.
Breast cancer ranked as second type of cancer (11.9%), it was the first female cancer representing 28.1% of total
females' cancer. The effort of the hospital registration unit to register cancer cases was very limited with a very low
coverage for all sorts of cancer during 2005-2008.
Conclusion: while interesting information on cancer pattern has been derived from Basrah General Hospital data,
they are still incomplete and may represent a selective and biased sample of the patient population.