Feriel Sellam, Nesrine M Mrabent, Noria Harir, Meghit B Khaled, Rachida Salah, Mustapha Diaf, Abdelnacer Tou
Background Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. 94% of pancreatic cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis. Objective To study the epidemiological and pathological characteristics of pancreatic cancer in North African population over a period of twenty two years from 1991 to 2013. Patients and method This was an epidemiological descriptive study conducted in Sidi bel Abbes University Hospital (Western Algeria, Northern Africa). We made a retrospective analysis of records of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and for this purpose the study period was sub-classified into two periods: 1991-2002 and 2003-2013. Results 264 patients aged between 16-96 years were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer; 107 females (40.5%) and 157 males (59.5%) were recorded between 1991 and 2013; with a sex ratio of 1.46, and age range 16–96 years (median 66.2). Ninety patients (34%) were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer during the first period (1991-2002), and 147 patients (66%) during the second one (2003 – 2013). A significant association was reported between male patients and their medical histories in the second period (p=0.012); 29% of those patients suffered from diabetes mellitus and 23% from high blood pressure. Another significant correlation was noted between male gender and TNM classification during the first period where p=0.047, mainly at M1 and T4 stages with respectively the rates of 26.3% and 19.3%. Conclusion Pancreatic cancer remains one of the deadliest cancers worldwide and even in developing countries.