Prevalence, Distribution, and Histopathological Features of Malignant Tumors Reported at Tertiary Level in Afghanistan: A 3-Year Study

Haider Ali Malakzai, Ahmed Maseh Haidary, Saleema Gulzar, Mujtaba Haidari, Abdul Sami Ibrahimkhil, Ramin Saadaat, Ahmadullah Hakimi, Sayed Murtaza Sadat Hofiani, Soma Rahmani, Jamshid Abdul-Ghafar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity, and therefore, tremendous research work is continuously being done around the world with consideration of etiopathogenesis as well as identification of therapeutic targets. Decades of continuous war in Afghanistan has left the medical infrastructure of the country in a miserable situation. There is a serious deficiency in research work in the fields of pathology and oncology at the moment with minimal data available to elaborate about the demographic characteristics of various malignant disorders in the country, which would be indispensable to pave the way for further research and development. Patients and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted to describe the prevalence, distribution, and important histopathological features of malignant tumors reported at tertiary level in Afghanistan. Results: Out of 2328 consecutive cases of solid malignant tumors included in our study, 93.8% were primary and 6.2% were metastatic. Breast was the most common site of origin for primary malignancy (29.5%) in females; however, in males, esophagus was the leading site for primary malignant tumors (16.3%). Invasive ductal carcinoma was the most common histologic type of malignancy in females (87.9%). However, in both genders, squamous cell carcinoma of esophagus and skin, osteosarcoma of bone and soft tissue, and glioblastoma of central nervous system were the most common histologic types of malignancies diagnosed. Small intestine was a frequently involved site affected by extranodal non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Overall, the majority of the cancers were diagnosed in stage-II. Conclusion: Findings in our study were somewhat similar to data presented elsewhere in the world, with some significant differences that could be related to the local factors. Our study revealed that most of the malignant tumors were diagnosed in later stages of the disease, attributable to scarcity of specialized oncology institutions and public awareness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2569-2582
Number of pages14
JournalCancer Management and Research
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Afghanistan
  • cancer
  • lymphoma
  • prevalence
  • sarcoma


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