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Journal of Cancer Epidemiology
Volume 2016, Article ID 3769829, 13 pages
Research Article

Pattern and Distribution of Colorectal Cancer in Tanzania: A Retrospective Chart Audit at Two National Hospitals

1School of Life Science and Bioengineering, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha, Tanzania
2Department of Public Health, University of Dodoma, Dodoma, Tanzania
3Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
4Department of Statistics, University of Dodoma, Dodoma, Tanzania
5Adjunct Faculty, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha, Tanzania
6University of Saskatchewan, Regina, SK, Canada

Received 12 May 2016; Accepted 9 August 2016

Academic Editor: Jianming Ying

Copyright © 2016 Leonard K. Katalambula 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.


Background. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a growing public health concern with increasing rates in countries with previously known low incidence. This study determined pattern and distribution of CRC in Tanzania and identified hot spots in case distribution. Methods. A retrospective chart audit reviewed hospital registers and patient files from two national institutions. Descriptive statistics, Chi square () tests, and regression analyses were employed and augmented by data visualization to display risk variable differences. Results. CRC cases increased sixfold in the last decade in Tanzania. There was a 1.5% decrease in incidences levels of rectal cancer and 2% increase for colon cancer every year from 2005 to 2015. Nearly half of patients listed Dar es Salaam as their primary residence. CRC was equally distributed between males (50.06%) and females (49.94%), although gender likelihood of diagnosis type (i.e., rectal or colon) was significantly different (). More than 60% of patients were between 40 and 69 years. Conclusions. Age () and time () but not gender () were significantly associated with rectal cancer in a retrospective study in Tanzania. Gender (), age (), and time () were all significantly associated with colon cancer in this study. This retrospective study found that colon cancer is more prevalent among males at a relatively younger age than rectal cancer. Further, our study showed that although more patients were diagnosed with rectal cancer, the trend has shown that colon cancer is increasing at a faster rate.