Basic & Clinical Cancer Research 2017. 9(3):.

Iran Cancer Statistics in 2012 and projection of cancer incidence by 2035
Elham Mohebbi, Azin Nahvijou, Maryam Hadji, Hamideh Rashidian, Monireh Sadat Seyyedsalehi, Saeed Nemati, Mohammad Reza Rouhollahi, Kazem Zendehdel


Background; Near future will be the most challenging time of non-communicable diseases, especially cancers in developing countries including Iran. Convincing stakeholders, allocating resources, and providing infrastructures for cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and palliative care require valid and reliable information and statistics.

Methods; Every four years, International Agency on Cancer Research (IARC) releases GLOBOCAN data which is estimation of incidence, mortality, and prevalence of cancer using IARC members' data. We present estimation of the incidence, mortality, and prevalence of cancer in Iran in 2012, and also the trend line of cancer between 2008 and 2012, derived from "GLOBOCAN 2008 and 2012".

Results; A total number of 84829 of all cancers excl. non-melanoma skin cancers, age adjusted incidence rate (ASR) was 127.7 per 100000 for Iran in 2012; the ratio of ASRs of incidence rate between men (134.7 per 100000)  and women (120.1 per 100000) was 1.12. Totally, 9795 cases of breast cancer (28.1 per 100000), 9660 cases of stomach cancer (15.3 per 100000), 7163 cases of colorectal cancer (11.1 per 100000), 5343 cases of esophageal cancer (8.6 per 100000), and 5343 cases of bladder cancer (8.4 per 100000) diagnosed in both sexes in 2012. Ten most commonly diagnosed cancers among women, in 2012 were cancers of breast 9795 (28.1 per 100000), colorectal 3352 (10.5 per 100000), stomach 3020 (9.7 per 100000), esophagus 2445 (8 per 100000), and ovary 1637 (4.8 per 100000). The common cancers among men were cancers of stomach 6640 (20.6 per 100000), bladder 4277 (13.2 per 100000), prostate 4111 (12.6 per 100000), colorectal 3811 (11.6 per 100000), and lung 3307 (10.3 per 100000). Comparing the ASRs of Iran reported in GLOBOCAN 2008 vs. 2012 has shown a slight raise (5.25%; 107.3 per 100000 vs. 127.7 per 100000) during the period of time, which is not significant. In 2035, a total number of 184481 cancer new cases (97655 Males and 86826 Females) will occur in Iran, anticipating about 54% increase of cancer incidence in Iran during the next 23 years. Estimating the projection of the five most incident cancers in Iran was indicated increasing number of new cases in 2035 to 49.32% for breast cancer, 50.13% for ovary cancer, 55.96% for colorectal cancer,  58.21% for lung cancer, 58.42% for bladder cancer, 59.1% for stomach cancer, and 59.69% for esophageal cancer.


Although GLOBOCAN provide countries with cancer statistics, lack of population-based cancer registry and cancer surveillance system in most countries like Iran make monitoring and improving health delivery system rigorous. About 50% increase in the number of new cancer cases by 2035 should aware stakeholders to allocate more resources to cancer surveillance system and be more focused on cancer control program.


Neoplasm, Iran, Prevalence, Incidence, Mortality, GLOBOCAN


Fitzmaurice C. Burden of cancer in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 2005–2015: findings from the Global Burden of Disease 2015 Study. International Journal of Public Health. 2017:1-14.

Global burden of Diseases. Washington: Institute of Health Metric and Evaluation; 2014 [cited 2016 3 September]. Available from:

Amori N, Aghajani M, Asgarian F, Jazayeri M. Epidemiology and trend of common cancers in Iran (2004–2008). European journal of cancer care. 2017;26(5).

Baniasadi N, Moghtader E, Khajehkazemi R, Mohebbi E. Increasing Trend in Colorectal Cancer Incidence in the Southeast of Iran 2003-2013: A Population Based Cancer Registry Study. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015;16:5257-60.

Malekzadeh R, Mohebbi E, Zendehdel K. Underestimation of Cancer Incidence in Iran and Necessity for Establishing Population-Based Cancer Registries. European Journal of Cancer Care. 2018;27(1).

Marzban M, Haghdoost A, Dortaj E, Bahrampour A, Zendehdel K. Completeness and underestimation of cancer mortality rate in Iran: a report from Fars province in Southern Iran. Arch Iran Med. 2015;18(3).

Zendehdel K, Sedighi Z, Hassanloo J, Nahvijou A. Audit of a nationwide pathology-based cancer registry in Iran. Basic & Clinical Cancer Research. 2016;3(2):7-13.

Ansari R, Mahdavinia M, Sadjadi A, Nouraie M, Kamangar F, Bishehsari F, et al. Incidence and age distribution of colorectal cancer in Iran: results of a population-based cancer registry. Cancer letters. 2006;240(1):143-7.

Sadjadi A, Malekzadeh R, Derakhshan MH, Sepehr A, Nouraie M, Sotoudeh M, et al. Cancer occurrence in Ardabil: Results of a population‐based Cancer Registry from Iran. International journal of cancer. 2003;107(1):113-8.

IARC. GLOBOCAN 2012: estimated cancer incidence, mortality and prevalence worldwide in 2012. 2012.

Health Statistics and Information Systems: WHO Mortality Database.: World Health Organization; 2014 [cited 2014 November]. Available from:

Segi M, Fujisaku S, Kurihara M, Narai Y, Sasajima K. The age-adjusted death rates for malignant neoplasms in some selected sites in 23 countries in 1954-1955 and their geographical correlation. The Tohoku journal of experimental medicine. 1960;72(1):91-103.

Doll R, Cook P. Summarizing indices for comparison of cancer incidence data. International journal of cancer. 1967;2(3):269-79.

Islamic Republic of Iran: Fast Stat Cancer. Lion, France: IARC, 2008.

International Human Development Indicators: United Nations Development Programme; 2017 [cited 2017 28 October 28 October ]. Available from:

Population Pyramids of the World from 1950 to 2100 [cited 2017 28 October]. Available from:

Ghiasvand R, Adami H-O, Harirchi I, Akrami R, Zendehdel K. Higher incidence of premenopausal breast cancer in less developed countries; myth or truth? BMC cancer. 2014;14(1):343.

Delavari A, Bishehsari F, Salimzadeh H, Khosravi P, Delavari F, Nasseri-Moghaddam S, et al. Adenoma detection rates in an opportunistic screening colonoscopy program in Iran, a country with rising colorectal cancer incidence. BMC gastroenterology. 2014;14(1):196.

Bishehsari F, Mahdavinia M, Vacca M, Malekzadeh R, Mariani-Costantini R. Epidemiological transition of colorectal cancer in developing countries: environmental factors, molecular pathways, and opportunities for prevention. World journal of gastroenterology: WJG. 2014;20(20):6055.

Mohagheghi S, Mousavi Jarrahi S, Malekzadeh R, Parkin M. Cancer incidence in Tehran metropolis: the first report from the Tehran Population-based Cancer Registry, 1998–2001. 2009.

Sajaddi A, Nouraie M, Mohagheghi M, Mousavi-Jarrahi A, Malekezadeh R, Parkin D. Cancer occurrence in Iran in 2002, an international perspective. Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention. 2005;6(3):359.

Zendehdel K, Sedighi Z, Hasanlou Z, Nahvijou A. Improving quality of cancer registration in Iran. Part1: evaluation and comparison of cancer registration results in the country. Mirror of Heritage. 2010;12(4):42-9.

Zendehdel K, Hasanlou Z, Sedighi Z, Nahvijou A, Mousavi Jarrahi S, Malekzadeh R, et al. Improving quality of cancer registration in Iran. Part2: Suggesting new national cancer registration program in Iran, based on comparative study of 18 countries. Mirror of Heritage 2010;12(4):50-7.

Forman D, Bray F, Brewster D, Gombe M, Kohler B, Piñeros M, et al. Cancer incidence in five continents: IARC; 2013.

Marzban M, Nahvijou A, Jafari N. Six-fold difference in the stomach cancer mortality rate between northern and southern Iran. Archives of Iranian medicine. 2012;15(12):741.

Kamangar F, Malekzadeh R, Dawsey SM, SAEIDI F. Esophageal cancer in Northeastern Iran: a review. 2007.

GLOBOCAN 2012: Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide in 2012: World Health Organization; 2017 [cited 2017 12 November ]. Available from:

Malekzadeh F, Sepanlou SG, Poustchi H, Naghavi M, Forouzanfar MH, Shahraz S, et al. Burden of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases in Iran: Estimates Based on the Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study, 2010. Middle East journal of digestive diseases. 2015;7:138.

Abubakar I, Tillmann T, Banerjee A. Global, regional, and national age-sex specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 240 causes of death, 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Lancet. 2015;385(9963):117-71.

Fitzmaurice C, Allen C, Barber RM, Barregard L, Bhutta ZA, Brenner H, et al. Global, regional, and national cancer incidence, mortality, years of life lost, years lived with disability, and disability-adjusted life-years for 32 cancer groups, 1990 to 2015: a systematic analysis for the global burden of disease study. JAMA oncology. 2017;3(4):524-48.

Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Dikshit R, Eser S, Mathers C, Rebelo M, et al. Cancer incidence and mortality worldwide: sources, methods and major patterns in GLOBOCAN 2012. International journal of cancer. 2015;136(5).

Eichelberger L, Murphy G, Etemadi A, Abnet CC, Islami F, Shakeri R, et al. Risk of gastric cancer by water source: evidence from the golestan case-control study. PloS one. 2015;10(5):e0128491.

Mohagheghi M, Mousavi Jarrahi S, Malekzadeh R, Parkin M. Cancer incidence in Tehran metropolis: the first report from the Tehran Population-based Cancer Registry, 1998–2001. Archives of Iranaian Medicine. 2009;12(1):15-23.

Uemura N, Okamoto S, Yamamoto S, Matsumura N, Yamaguchi S, Yamakido M, et al. Helicobacter pylori infection and the development of gastric cancer. New England Journal of Medicine. 2001;345(11):784-9.

Sipponen P, Hyvärinen H. Role of Helicobacter pylori in the pathogenesis of gastritis, peptic ulcer and gastric cancer. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. 1993;28(sup196):3-6.

Tsugane S. Salt, salted food intake, and risk of gastric cancer: epidemiologic evidence. Cancer science. 2005;96(1):1-6.

Pourfarzi F, Whelan A, Kaldor J, Malekzadeh R. The role of diet and other environmental factors in the causation of gastric cancer in Iran—a population based study. International journal of cancer. 2009;125(8):1953-60.

Campbell PT, Sloan M, Kreiger N. Dietary patterns and risk of incident gastric adenocarcinoma. American journal of epidemiology. 2007;167(3):295-304.

Riboli E, Norat T. Epidemiologic evidence of the protective effect of fruit and vegetables on cancer risk. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2003;78(3):559S-69S.

Sjödahl K, Lu Y, Nilsen TI, Ye W, Hveem K, Vatten L, et al. Smoking and alcohol drinking in relation to risk of gastric cancer: A population‐based, prospective cohort study. International journal of cancer. 2007;120(1):128-32.

La Torre G, Chiaradia G, Gianfagna F, De Lauretis A, Boccia S, Mannocci A, et al. Smoking status and gastric cancer risk: an updated meta-analysis of case-control studies published in the past ten years. Tumori. 2009;95(1):13.

Kogevinas M, Pearce N, Susser M, Boffetta P. Social inequalities and cancer. Oxford: IARC 1997.

Leitzmann MF, Koebnick C, Freedman ND, Park Y, Ballard-Barbash R, Hollenbeck A, et al. Physical activity and esophageal and gastric carcinoma in a large prospective study. American journal of preventive medicine. 2009;36(2):112-9.

D’Elia L, Galletti F, Strazzullo P. Dietary salt intake and risk of gastric cancer. Advances in Nutrition and Cancer: Springer; 2014. p. 83-95.

Kelley JR, Duggan JM. Gastric cancer epidemiology and risk factors. Journal of clinical epidemiology. 2003;56(1):1-9.

Kamali-Sarvestani E, Bazargani A, Masoudian M, Lankarani K, Taghavi A-R, Saberifiroozi M. Association of H pylori cagA and vacA genotypes and IL-8 gene polymorphisms with clinical outcome of infection in Iranian patients with gastrointestinal diseases. World journal of gastroenterology: WJG. 2006;12(32):5205.

Chen M-J, Wu D-C, Ko Y-C, Chiou Y-Y. Personal history and family history as a predictor of gastric cardiac adenocarcinoma risk: a case-control study in Taiwan. The American journal of gastroenterology. 2004;99(7):1250-7.

Correa P, Piazuelo MB. Natural history of Helicobacter pylori infection. Digestive and Liver Disease. 2008;40(7):490-6.

Malekzadeh R, Derakhshan MH, Malekzadeh Z. Gastric cancer in Iran: epidemiology and risk factors. 2009.

Møller H, Heseltine E, Vainio H. Working group report on schistosomes, liver flukes and Helicobacter pylori. Meeting held at IARC, Lyon, 7–14 June 1994. International Journal of Cancer. 1995;60(5):587-9.

Adami H-O, Hunter DJ, Trichopoulos D. Textbook of cancer epidemiology: Monographs in Epidemiology and; 2008.

McGuire S. World cancer report 2014. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, international agency for research on cancer, WHO Press, 2015. Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal. 2016;7(2):418-9.

Pasechnikov V, Chukov S, Fedorov E, Kikuste I, Leja M. Gastric cancer: prevention, screening and early diagnosis. World journal of gastroenterology: WJG. 2014;20(38):13842.

Kato M, Asaka M. Recent development of gastric cancer prevention. Japanese journal of clinical oncology. 2012;42(11):987-94.

Rouhollahi MR, Mohagheghi MA, Mohammadrezai N, Motlagh AG, Harirchi I. Situation analysis of the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program in the IR of Iran; assessment and recommendations based on the IAEA imPACT mission. Archives of Iranian medicine. 2014;17(4):222.

Bray F, Jemal A, Grey N, Ferlay J, Forman D. Global cancer transitions according to the Human Development Index (2008–2030): a population-based study. The lancet oncology. 2012;13(8):790-801.

Nikfarjam Z, Massoudi T, Salehi M, Salehi M, Khoshroo F. Demographic survey of four thousand patients with 10 common cancers in North Eastern Iran over the past three decades. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(23):10193-8.

Pakzad R, Mohammadian-Hafshejani A, Khosravi B, Soltani S, Pakzad I, Mohammadian M, et al. The incidence and mortality of esophageal cancer and their relationship to development in Asia. Annals of translational medicine. 2016;4(2).

Yarhusseini A, Sharifzadeh L, Delpisheh A, Veisani Y, Sayehmiri F, Sayehmiri K. Survival rate of esophageal carcinoma in Iran-a systematic review and meta-analysis. Iranian journal of cancer prevention. 2014;7(2):61.

Roshandel G, Merat S, Sotoudeh M, Khoshnia M, Poustchi H, Lao-Sirieix P, et al. Pilot study of cytological testing for oesophageal squamous cell dysplasia in a high-risk area in Northern Iran. British journal of cancer. 2014;111(12):2235-41.

Rashidian H, Daroudi R, Ghiasvand R, Harirchi I, Zendehdel K. Prevalence and Incidence of premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer in Iran in 2010. Basic & Clinical Cancer Research. 2013;5(3):2-10.

Denny L, de Sanjose S, Mutebi M, Anderson BO, Kim J, Jeronimo J, et al. Interventions to close the divide for women with breast and cervical cancer between low-income and middle-income countries and high-income countries. The Lancet. 2017;389(10071):861-70.

Haghighat S, Akbari ME, Yavari P, Javanbakht M, Ghaffari S. Cost-effectiveness of three rounds of mammography breast cancer screening in Iranian women. Iranian journal of cancer prevention. 2016;9(1).

Hosseini H, Barooti E. Cost-effectiveness of mammography screening for breast cancer in a low socioeconomic group of Iranian women. Archives of Iranian medicine. 2014;17(4):241.

Nelson HD, Pappas M, Cantor A, Griffin J, Daeges M, Humphrey L. Harms of breast cancer screening: systematic review to update the 2009 US preventive services task force recommendation harms of breast cancer screening. Annals of internal medicine. 2016;164(4):256-67.

Lauby-Secretan B, Scoccianti C, Loomis D, Benbrahim-Tallaa L, Bouvard V, Bianchini F, et al. Breast-cancer screening—viewpoint of the IARC Working Group. New England Journal of Medicine. 2015;372(24):2353-8.

Afshari M, Janbabaei G, Bahrami MA, Moosazadeh M. Opium and bladder cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the odds ratios for opium use and the risk of bladder cancer. PloS one. 2017;12(6):e0178527.

World drug report 2015. UNODC, 2015.

Ziaaddini H, Ziaaddini M. The household survey of drug abuse in Kerman, Iran. Journal of Applied Sciences. 2005;5:380-2.

Nikfarjam A, Shokoohi M, Shahesmaeili A, Haghdoost AA, Baneshi MR, Haji-Maghsoudi S, et al. National population size estimation of illicit drug users through the network scale-up method in 2013 in Iran. International Journal of Drug Policy. 2016;31:147-52.

Curado M-P, Edwards B, Shin HR, Storm H, Ferlay J, Heanue M, et al. Cancer incidence in five continents, Volume IX: IARC Press, International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2007.

Eriksen M, Mackay J, Ross H. The tobacco atlas: American Cancer Society; 2013.

Roshandel G, Sadjadi A, Sedaghat SM, Semnani S, Malekzadeh R. Cancer incidence in Golestan Province: report of an ongoing population-based cancer registry in Iran between 2004 and 2008. Archives of Iranian medicine. 2012;15(4):196.

Khorasanizadeh F, Hassanloo J, Khaksar N, Taheri SM, Marzaban M, Rashidi BH, et al. Epidemiology of cervical cancer and human papilloma virus infection among Iranian women—Analyses of national data and systematic review of the literature. Gynecologic oncology. 2013;128(2):277-81.

Nahvijou A, Daroudi R, Tahmasebi M, Hashemi FA, Hemami MR, Sari AA, et al. Cost-effectiveness of different cervical screening strategies in Islamic Republic of Iran: a middle-income country with a low incidence rate of cervical cancer. PloS one. 2016;11(6):e0156705.

Nahvijou A, Sari AA, Zendehdel K, Marnani AB. Management of precancerous cervical lesions in iran: a cost minimizing study. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(19):8209.

Khatibi M, Rasekh HR, Shahverdi Z. Cost-effectiveness evaluation of quadrivalent human papilloma virus vaccine for HPV-related disease in Iran. Iranian journal of pharmaceutical research: IJPR. 2014;13(Suppl):225.

National Cancer Registry Report. Tehran, Iran: 2010.

National Cancer Registry Report. Tehran, Iran: 2011.

Klabunde C, Blom J, Bulliard J-L, Garcia M, Hagoel L, Mai V, et al. Participation rates for organized colorectal cancer screening programmes: an international comparison. Journal of medical screening. 2015;22(3):119-26.

Jemal A, Siegel R, Xu J, Ward E. Cancer statistics, 2010. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians. 2010;60(5):277-300.

Nelson RL, Persky V, Turyk M. Determination of factors responsible for the declining incidence of colorectal cancer. Diseases of the colon & rectum. 1999;42(6):741-52.

Policy statement and recommended actions for early detection of colorectal cancer in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. World Health Organization, 2016.

Arnold M, Sierra MS, Laversanne M, Soerjomataram I, Jemal A, Bray F. Global patterns and trends in colorectal cancer incidence and mortality. Gut. 2016:gutjnl-2015-310912.

Center MM, Jemal A, Smith RA, Ward E. Worldwide variations in colorectal cancer. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians. 2009;59(6):366-78.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.