According to the Digestive Diseases Research Institute (DDRI) of Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Dr. Reza Malekzadeh, the Director-General for Research and Information Technology at the Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MOHME) in Iran has recognized a national cancer registry as the primary requirement for providing valid cancer statistics in the world, and as one of the most important infrastructures needed for developing cancer control programs which will play an important role in designing and monitoring cancer management; including evaluating cancer screening programs, following up with cancer patients, assessing prognostic indicators, as well as allocating human and financial resources.
The Director of the DDRI described “Cancer Incidence in Five Continents” as the world's most authoritative cancer registry resource, emphasizing that while approximately 70% of all cancer cases in the world occur in developing countries, most population-based cancer registry systems are based in developed countries with only a few registries in developing countries. On the other hand, unfortunately, the collection of information for most cancer registry systems in developing countries – which is necessary for evaluating and assessing cancer cases – lacks the necessary quality.
Dr. Malekzadeh noted that despite the current predicaments, the "Cancer Registry of Iran", was launched and its results were reported / provided with the utmost quality and accuracy due to the collaborative efforts among the Ministry of Health’s Deputies for Research and Information Technology, Treatment and Public Health along with the Medical Universities of the country serving as the information collection sites (coordinating centers) for this project.
Subsequently, the report was accepted and approved for publication as part of the “Cancer Incidence in Five Continents”. Prior to this program, cancer registry in Iran, similar to other developing countries, faced numerous limitations, challenges and deficiencies. Therefore, the preparation of this report can be described as a very important step in this regard.
He further described the results of a major report from the Cancer Registry in Iran and mentioned that this report, which covers information from 98% of the population, reveals statistical information and data pertaining to the incidence of cancer in 30 provinces of the country. According to the results of this report, in 2014, 112,000 cased of cancer were documented / registered in Iran.
The coordinator for the largest cohort study in Golestan noted that the results discovered that the average annual incidence of cancer in Iran is 158 cases per 100,000 people, including skin cancer. While the average annual incidence of cancers in the world, excluding skin cancer, is 182 cases per 100,000. This indicates a much lower incidence of cancer in Iran compared to the world average. Furthermore, the global reference of "Cancer Registration in Five Continents" has reported an average incidence rate of 267 cases of cancer per 100,000 in European countries, which demonstrates that the incidence of cancer in Iran is much lower, even in comparison to the European average.
Dr. Malekzadeh reiterated that all these statistics clearly show that a “Cancer Tsunami” has not occurred in Iran at all, and it is safe to say, that the incidence of cancer in Iran is relatively lower even in comparison to many advanced European countries, which have more rigorous cancer registry programs and are more diligent in providing preventative / early therapies.