Introduction The incidence of colorectal cancer is lower in South Asians compared to the British white population. There have been very few large studies looking into the incidence of colorectal cancer in UK South Asians. Wolverhampton has a population of 236 585 (13.6% South Asians) and we aimed to determine the incidence and trend of colorectal cancer in the South Asian subgroup over a 20-year period.
Methods All patients of South Asian origin and cases of colonic and rectal tumours from 1989 to 2008 were identified from the Histopathology department database. Age sex standardised incidences were calculated using 1991 and 2001 census data.
Results The median age-sex standardised incidence of colonic cancer from 1989 to 2008 was 3.09/100 000/year in South Asians compared to 45.11/100 000/year in non-South Asians (77.79% white population) (p<0.0001). For rectal cancers, the median age-sex standardised incidence in South Asians was 0/100 000/year compared to 28.70/100 000/year in non-South Asians (p<0.0001).
In non-South Asians, there was trend towards an increased colonic cancer (p=0.03), but not in South Asians. Rectal cancer incidence is increasing in South Asians (p=0.0004), but there is no increased trend in non-South Asians.
Conclusion There is significantly reduced incidence of colonic and rectal cancers in UK South Asians compared to non-South Asians (majority being white Caucasians). However, a trend towards increasing rectal cancer in South Asians and increasing colonic cancer in non-South Asians has been noted.
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