Cancer incidence in Nigeria: a report from population-based cancer registries

Elima Jedy-Agba, Maria Paula Curado, Olufemi Ogunbiyi, Emmanuel Oga, Toyin Fabowale, Festus Igbinoba, Gloria Osubor, Theresa Otu, Henry Kumai, Alice Koechlin, Patience Osinubi, Patrick Dakum, William Blattner, Clement A. Adebamowo

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179 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Cancer has become a major source of morbidity and mortality globally. Despite the threat that cancer poses to public health in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), few countries in this region have data on cancer incidence. In this paper, we present estimates of cancer incidence in Nigeria based on data from 2 population-based cancer registries (PBCR) that are part of the Nigerian national cancer registry program.
Materials and methods: We analyzed data from 2 population based cancer registries in Nigeria, the Ibadan Population Based Cancer Registry (IBCR) and the Abuja Population Based Cancer Registry (ABCR) covering a 2 year period 2009–2010. Data are reported by registry, gender and in age groups. We present data on the age specific incidence rates of all invasive cancers and report age standardized rates of the most common cancers stratified by gender in both registries. Results: The age standardized incidence rate for all invasive cancers from the IBCR was 66.4 per 100 000 men and 130.6 per 100 000 women. In ABCR it was 58.3 per 100 000 for men and 138.6 per 100 000 for women. A total of 3393 cancer cases were reported by the IBCR. Of these cases, 34% (1155) were seen among males and 66% (2238) in females. In Abuja over the same period, 1128 invasive cancers were reported. 33.6% (389) of these cases were in
males and 66.4% (768) in females. Mean age of diagnosis of all cancers in men for Ibadan and Abuja were 51.1 and 49.9 years respectively. For women, mean age of diagnosis of all cancers in Ibadan and Abuja were 49.1 and 45.4 respectively. Breast and cervical cancer were the commonest cancers among women and prostate cancer the most common among men. Breast cancer age standardized incidence rate (ASR) at the IBCR was 52.0 per 100 000 in IBCR and 64.6 per 100 000 in ABCR. Cervical cancer ASR at the IBCR was 36.0 per 100 000 and 30.3 per 100 000 at the ABCR. The observed differences in incidence rates of breast, cervical and prostate cancer between Ibadan and Abuja, were not statistically significant.
Conclusion: Cancer incidence data from two population based cancer registries in Nigeria suggests substantial increase in incidence of breast cancer in recent times. This paper highlights the need for high quality regional cancer registries in Nigeria and other SSA countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e271-e278
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Epidemiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2012


  • population-based cancer registries
  • cnacer incidence
  • cancer registration
  • sub-Saharan Africa


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