APH 2000, 58, 67-83:

Incidence of cancer in the Belgian province of Limburg in 1996: first experiences of a new cancer incidence registry.

D. Lousbergh, F. Buntinx, E. Cloes, D. Dhollander, E. Salk, L. Op De Beeck, J. Rummens, B. Van Brabandt, J. Vanden Brande, H. Vandeput, and A. Van Waes

Keywords: cancer, epidemiology, cancer registry, Belgium

Background: Epidemiological research on occurrence and determinants of cancer requires reliable age and sex adjusted incidence rates for all cancer groups. The absolute numbers and age-specific data are also valuable for cancer research and planning health services. The Limburg Cancer Registry has been established to collect such data.

Aim: To provide the opportunity of continuously follow cancer incidence rates and to analyse the relation of occurrence with a number of determinants (age, sex, regional differences etc.)

Results: During 1996, 3195 primary cancers were identified. This relates to a crude invasive cancer incidence rate of 454/100000 person-year for males and 329/100000 for fémales. This corresponds with a European standardised rate of 471 and 293 respectively and a World standardised rate of 339 and 170. Additionally, 451 metastases, 345 borderline malignancies and 530 basal cell carcinoma of the skin were identified. The top five cancers in males were prostate, lung, urinary bladder, colon and non-melanoma skin cancer. In fémales they were breast, colon, urinary bladder, non-melanoma skin cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Our results have been compared with a number of neighbouring Belgian and Dutch cancer registries: the Belgian National Cancer Registty (NKR), the Netherlands Cancer Registry (NCR), the registry of the Comprehensive Cancer Centre Antwerp (IKSA) and the Comprehensive Cancer Centre Limburg - the Netherlands (KL).

Apart from a clear first year effect, our results are largely similar to the Dutch results