Thailand is located in South-east Asia, in the center of Indochina. Thailand borders Myanmar to the north and west, Lao to the northeast, Cambodia to the east, and Malaysia to the south. Its southwestern coast stretches along the Andaman Sea, and its southern and southeastern coastlines border the Gulf of Thailand. Thailand covers 513,155 km2
and is divided into 76 provinces, within four geographical regions: the northern, northeastern, southern and central. Its capital city is Bangkok. The population is 65.4 million. Half of the population is in the agricultural sector. Ninety five percent of them are Buddhists.1
The first population-based cancer registry started in 1986 in the province of Chiang Mai, followed by Khon Kaen in 1988, Songkhla and Bangkok in 1990, and Lampang in 1993.2
The estimated number of new cancer cases in the year of 1999 was 31,582 men and 33,678 women. These correlated to age-standardized rates of 127.7 per 100,000 for men and 125.5 per 100,000 women. The national estimates of the 10 leading cancers in men and women are shown as age standardized rates (ASR) in . With regard to leading cancers in Thailand for the male population, the highest incidence falls into liver and bile duct cancer followed by bronchus and lung cancer, colon and rectum cancer and oral cavity cancer. More of our concern here is cancer incidence in Thai women. It is cervical cancer which accounts for approximately 25/100,000/year and followed by breast cancer. Coming in second place, it is the breast cancer which is found 20/100,000/year. Liver and bile duct cancer comes third, followed by bronchus and lung cancer, colon and rectum and ovarian cancer ranks sixth. So, in short, cervical cancer is the most commonly found cancer, and two out of the sixth most common cancers in women are gynecologic cancers.
Leading cancers in Thailand (estimated), 1999.
In the year of 1996, cancer was the third most common cause of death in Thailand by the rate of 48.9/100,000/year. In 1999, cancer turned out to be the second most common cause of death by the rate of 60.5/100,000/year. From 2002 up to the present, cancer is the most common cause of death in Thailand (65.4/100,000/year in 2002).3
It might be interesting to take a look at key providers for gynecologic cancer in Thailand. In 2004, the number of general obstetricians and gynecologists was 1,983 which could be calculated in terms of ratio as one general obstetrician and gynecologist for 15,000 women. There were 110 gynecologic oncologists, 101 radiation oncologists, 235 pathologists, 386 cyto-technicians/screeners and among these, there are many nurses which number 78,182.4