Cancer is the third leading cause of deaths in the
West Bank and Gaza accounting for about 10% of total deaths. Despite its importance, little research has been devoted to characterization of incidence rates and geographic variations. This study compared the incidence rates and some risk factors of cancer among governorates of Northern West Bank and among types of locality (urban,
rural, and refugee camps) for the period 2005-2008.
Crude and age-adjusted incidence rates were calculated using cancer data obtained from
the registry files of three hospitals in Northern West Bank. Negative binomial regression analysis was
performed to compare incidence rate ratios (IRR) among governorates and types of locality while adjusting
for age-group, sex and year of diagnosis. Fisher’s e
xact test was employed to test relationships among
tabulated variables and test homogeneity of proportions.
The lowest overall incidence rate was found in the
governorate of Jenin (age-adjusted rate of
45.0 cases per 100,000 over the 4-yr period). With Jenin taken as a reference, the governorate of Nablus
had the highest IRR (3.30) with age-adjusted inciden
ce of 148.1 cases per 100,000. Refugee camps had
higher overall incidence rate than urban and rural
areas (age adjusted rates of 169.0, 103.2, and 79.3
per 100,000 for refugee camps, urban, and rural areas, respectively). Geographical differences were found
in the distribution of patients with regard to type
s of environmental pollution, dietary factors, smoking,
alcohol consumption, types of stress, and chronic diseases but not in dietary habits and family history.
In Northern West Bank, large differences were found
among areas of residence
(governorates and locality types) in incidence of cancer. Geographical differences in risk factors were also
found which could explain part of the geographic differences observed in incidence rates