Evaluating the Incidence and Possible Risk Factors of Stomach Cancer in Marrakech, Morocco—An Exploratory Study

Stomach cancer is often associated with the high incidence rates in Japan and their unique diets.  It is most often attributed to infection by Helicobacter pylori or a diet high in foods that are smoked, cured, or heavily salted.  Northern Africa is not considered a hotspot for any of these risk factors, so finding out from local collaborators that there is what seems to be a higher incidence in North Africa, specifically Morocco, and even more specifically in a localized region of the city of Marrakech is interesting. I will utilize medical records and pathology reports in Marrakech to calculate the cumulative and age-standardized incidence rate of stomach cancer.  In order to determine a difference, the rates will be compared to the city of Casablanca, a city in Morocco 150 miles away, with an established cancer registry for its population and well-developed cancer centers similar to the Marrakech cancer center. This study hopes to determine the incidence rate of stomach cancer in Marrakech, discover if it differs from the nearby city of Casablanca, and lay the foundation for future studies and interventions in this population.   

Specific Aims: 
1. Evaluate the incidence and prevalence rate of stomach cancer in Marrakech, Morocco in the last 5 years
2. Determine Casablanca's stomach cancer incidence rate to compare to Marrakech's rate

Brittney Smith
Brittney Smith Picture

I graduated in 2010 from the University of Nebraska Omaha where I majored in Biotechnology and had minors in Chemistry and Religion.  I'm a master's student in the College of Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion. I expect to graduate in Winter 2013.