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Journal of Cancer Epidemiology
Volume 2015, Article ID 704569, 6 pages
Research Article

Incidence of Gastric Cancer in Marrakech and Casablanca, Morocco

1Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA
2Department of Oncology, Center Hospital University Mohammed VI, 40080 Marrakech, Morocco
3Department of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cadi Ayyad University, 40000 Marrakech, Morocco
4Department of Pathology, Center Hospital University Ibn Rochd, 20100 Casablanca, Morocco
5Department of Pathology and Microbiology, College of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA
6Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA

Received 29 July 2015; Revised 22 September 2015; Accepted 28 September 2015

Academic Editor: Lidia Larizza

Copyright © 2015 Brittney L. Smith et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Gastric cancer is the fifth most common cancer globally with over 70% of new cases occurring in developing countries. In Morocco, oncologists in Marrakech suspected higher frequency of gastric cancer compared to Casablanca, a city 150 kilometers away. This study calculated age-specific, sex-specific, and total incidence rates of gastric cancer in Marrakech and was compared to the Casablanca population-based cancer registry. Using medical records from Center Hospital University Mohammad VI and reports from 4 main private pathology laboratories in Marrakech, we identified 774 patients for the period 2008–2012. Comparison of rates showed higher age-specific incidence in Marrakech in nearly all age groups for both genders. A higher total incidence in Marrakech than in Casablanca was found with rates of 5.50 and 3.23 per 100,000, respectively. Incidence was significantly higher among males in Marrakech than males in Casablanca (7.19 and 3.91 per 100,000, resp.) and females in Marrakech compared to females in Casablanca (3.87 and 2.58 per 100,000, resp.). Future studies should address possible underestimation of gastric cancer in Marrakech, estimate incidence in other regions of Morocco, and investigate possible risk factors to explain the difference in rates.