The Spatial Distribution of Cancer Incidence in Fars Province: A GIS‑Based Analysis of Cancer Registry Data

Ali Goli, Mahbobeh Oroei, Mehdi Jalalpour, Hossein Faramarzi, Mehrdad Askarian

Abstract


Background: Cancer is a major health problem in the developing countries. Variations of its incidence rate among geographical areas are due to various contributing factors. This study was performed to assess the spatial patterns of cancer incidence in the Fars Province, based on cancer registry data and to determine geographical clusters.

Methods: In this cross sectional study, the new cases of cancer were recorded from 2001 to 2009. Crude incidence rate was estimated based on age groups and sex in the counties of the Fars Province. Age‑standardized incidence rates (ASR) per 100,000 was calculated in each year. Spatial autocorrelation analysis was performed in measuring the geographic patterns and clusters using geographic information system (GIS). Also, comparisons were made between ASRs in each county.

Results: A total of 28,411 new cases were diagnosed with cancer during 2001‑2009 in the Fars Province, 55.5% of which were men. The average age was 61.6 ± 0.5 years. The highest ASR was observed in Shiraz, which is the largest county in Fars. The Moran’s Index of cancer was significantly clustered in 2004, 2005, and 2006 in total, men, and women. The type of spatial clustering was high‑high cluster, that to indicate from north‑west to south‑east of Fars Province.

Conclusions: Analysis of the spatial distribution of cancer shows significant differences from year to year and between different areas. However, a clear spatial autocorrelation is observed, which can be of great interest and importance to researchers for future epidemiological studies, and to policymakers for applying preventive measures.

Keywords: Cancer, Iran, spatial analysis

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