Iran as a developing nation is in epidemiological transition from communicable to non-communicable diseases. Although, cancer is the third cause of death in Iran, it`s mortality are on the rise during recent decades. This mini-review was carried out to provide a general viewpoint on common cancers incidence in Iran and to explain incidental differences that may help us to establish early detection programs and investigate population risk factors.
A detailed PubMed, Scopus and Google scholar search were made from 2000 to 2009. The basic inclusion criteria were all relevant studies focused on cancer epidemiological data from Iran.
Overall age-standard incidence rate per 100 000 population according to primary site is 110.43 in males and 98.23 in females. The five most common cancers (except skin cancer) are stomach, esophagus, colon-rectum, bladder and leukemia in males, and in females are breast, esophagus, stomach, colon-rectum and cervix uteri.
The incidence rates of gastrointestinal cancers are high in Iran (it is one of the known areas with a high incidence of GI cancers). Breast cancer mainly affects Iranian women about a decade earlier than Western countries and younger cases are affected by an increasing rate of colorectal cancer in Iran, near the Western rates.