Upper Gastrointestinal Cancer in Yemen: A hospital-based study

Yahya Ali Ghanem1*, Nabil Ahmed Al-Rabeei2

1Department of Internal Medicine-Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Sana’a University.

2Nursing Division, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Sana’a University.


Cancer is and will become an increasingly important factor in the global burden of disease in the decades to come. According to estimates from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), there were 14.1 million new cancer cases in 2012 worldwide, of which 8 million occurred in economically developing countries, which contain about 82% of the world’s population. The corresponding estimates for total cancer deaths in 2012 were 8.2 million (about 22,000 cancer deaths a day)-2.9 million in economically developed countries, and 5.3 million in economically developing countries. The estimated number of new cases each year is expected to rise from 10 million in 2000 to 15 million by 20201.

Upper gastrointestinal cancer (UGIC) is a major contributor to mortality and morbidity worldwide. 952 000 new cases of gastric cancer in 2012 (6.8% of the totall

number of cancer cases), making it the fourth most common malignancy in men and the fifth most common in women worldwide. More than 70% of cases occurred in developing countries, and about half of the global total occurred in East Asia. GC was the third leading cause of cancer death in both sexes worldwide in 2012 (723 000 deaths, 8.8% of the total1. GC shows regional variations because of differences in dietary patterns, and the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection2.

There has been a steady decline in recent years in most developed countries and in countries with high incidence rates in Asia3. GC is a multifactorial disease. A positive family history of gastric cancer has been associated with a two to three-fold increased risk of the disease, which suggests a genetic basis4. Diet is considered to play an important role in the occurrence of gastric cancer. Salty food and smoked or marinated food deficient in vitamins and antioxidants

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