Black-white differences in cancer risk in Harare, Zimbabwe 1991-2010.

Data from 20 years of cancer registration in Harare (Zimbabwe) are used to investigate the risk of cancer in the white population of the city (of European origin), relative to that in blacks (of African origin).

In the absence of information on the respective populations-at-risk, we calculated odds of each major cancer among all cancers, and took the odds ratios of whites to blacks. Some major differences reflect obvious phenotypic differences (the very high incidence of skin cancer - melanoma and non-melanoma- in the white population), whilst others (high rates of liver cancer, Kaposi sarcoma, and conjunctival cancers in blacks) are the result of differences in exposure to infectious agents. Of particular interest are cancers related to lifestyle factors, and how the differences in risk are changing over time, as a result of evolving lifestyles. Thus, the high risk of cancers of the oesophagus and cervix uteri in blacks (relative to whites) and colo-rectal cancers in whites, show little change over time. Conversely, the odds of breast cancer, on average four times higher in whites than blacks, has shown a significant decrease in the differential over time. Cancer of the prostate, with a odds initially (1991-1997) 15% higher in whites had become 33% higher in blacks by 2004-2010. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

International journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer. 2015 Oct 05 [Epub ahead of print]

Eric Chokunonga, Peter Windridge, Peter Sasieni, Margaret Borok, D Maxwell Parkin

Zimbabwe National Cancer Registry, P. O. Box A449, Avondale, Harare, Zimbabwe. , Centre for Cancer Prevention, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts & The London School of Medicine & Dentistry, Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M 6BQ. , Centre for Cancer Prevention, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts & The London School of Medicine & Dentistry, Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M 6BQ. , Zimbabwe National Cancer Registry, P. O. Box A449, Avondale, Harare, Zimbabwe. , Centre for Cancer Prevention, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Barts & The London School of Medicine & Dentistry, Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M 6BQ.

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