Comparative epidemiology of vulva squamous carcinoma among Israelites

Journal of Comprehensive Cancer Research

Short Communication

Comparative epidemiology of vulva squamous carcinoma among Israelites and one anthropologically linked Nigerian ethnic group

Wilson I. B. Onuigbo1*
1Department of Pathology, Medical Foundation and Clinic, Nigeria
*Corresponding author: Onuigbo WIB, Department of Pathology, Medical Foundation and Clinic, 8 Nsukka Lane, Enugu 400001, Nigeria; E-mail:
Received: April 22, 2017; Accepted: July 03, 2017; Published: July 10, 2017
Copyright: ©2017 Onuigbo WIB. 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.
Citation: Onuigbo WIB (2017) Comparative epidemiology of vulva squamous carcinoma among Israelites and one anthropologically linked Nigerian ethnic group. J Compr Cancer Res 1(1): 100004.


Epidemiology is defined as a branch of medical science that deals with the incidence, distribution, and control of disease in a population. Therefore, since its comparative form is that which deals with two different populations, the present study compares the age patterns of vulva squamous carcinoma with reference to published Israeli women of the Middle East and a group in West Africa because the latter has been linked anthropologically with them. In this context, the surprise is that most women were aged over 70 years in Israel but only over 50 years in Nigeria. This finding is discussed with reference to two already published comparative cohorts concerning reproduction and malignancy in both communities.

Keywords: epidemiology, anthropology, israeli women, nigerian women, vulva, squamous carcinoma, age, comparison
View PDF Download PDF


Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary [1] defines “Epidemiology” as “a branch of medical science that deals with the incidence, distribution, and control of disease in a population.” Now, comparative epidemiology must be that which deals with different populations. Therefore, the present study compares the age patterns of women suffering from vulva squamous carcinoma as was published from Israel [2] and among the Igbos of Nigeria [3], who constitute the subject of this study. Incidentally, Chapter 32 of the anthropological book was entitled “Some similarities between the Israelites and the Ibos.”


Following the suggestion of a Birmingham (UK) group [4], namely, that the establishment of a histopathology data pool facilitates epidemiological analysis, the present study is based on such a pool. It was established in Enugu, erstwhile capital of the Eastern Region of Nigeria as a Reference Pathology Laboratory. The doctors serving the whole area were encouraged to send formalin-fixation biopsy specimens provided that the accompanying Request Forms were fully filled in respect of such data as age, sex, complaints and other findings. From 1970, the author was a pioneer pathologist. Moreover, a personal copy was retained throughout. These have been analyzed manually for comparison with Israeli data with reference to the age patterns.


From Table 1 it is Clearly evident that most of the women of Igbo are aged above 50 years, and their Israeli counterparts are aged over 70 years. Although there is some problem regarding the exactitude of age in developing communities, the present results are probably reliable [5].


Age generalization can be depended on was apparent in a previous paper [6] wherein it was shown that Igbo women suffering from tuberculosis were remarkably parous. Apparently, Igbo women marry early and therefore conceive and give birth before the onset of the genital tuberculous lesions that lead to primary infertility whereas, this is not the case in Israelites [7].

Accessing the works on male breast cancer in Israelites [8,9], I was able to compare them with my local experience [10]. Incidentally, the similarities were found in terms of age, namely, (i) the highest incidence occurred among them in the 40-79 age bracket and (ii) the average ages were similar (58.5 and 59.6 years).

In conclusion, comparative epidemiology is a field in which surgical pathology can open up interesting vistas. Indeed, it was a surprise to come across the British debate on whether biopsy reports ever benefit distant Hospitals [11]. In fact, our local rebuttal was published in The Bulletin of the Royal College of Pathologists recently [12]. In particular, my comparative series on Igbo and worldwide pathology data are dependable in all probability [13-18].


  1. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. (12th edn.) Merriam-Webster Inc., Springfield Mass, USA pp. 419.
  2. Menczer J, Voliovitch Y, Modan B, Modan M, Steinitz R (1982) Some epidemiologic aspects of carcinoma of the vulva in Israel. Am J Obstet Gynecol 143: 893-896.
  3. Basden GT (1966) Niger Ibos. Frank Cass, London, UK.
  4. Macartney JC, Rollason TP, Codling BW (1980) Use of a histopathology data pool for epidemiological analysis. J Clin Pathol 33: 351-355.
  5. Onuigbo WIB (2001) Reproducibility of ages supplied in laboratory request forms. J Coll Med 6: 1-2.
  6. Onuigbo WI (1978) Genital tuberculosis and reproductive function. J Reprod Med 21: 249-250.
  7. Cramer DW, Cutler SJ (1974) Incidence and histopathology of malignancies of the female genital organs in the United States. Am J Obstet Gynecol 118: 443-460.
  8. Walach N, Hochman A (1974) Male breast cancer. Oncology 29: 181-189.
  9. Wolloch Y, Dintsman M (1973) Primary carcinoma of the male breast. Am J Surg 125: 628-632.
  10. Onuigbo WIB (2005) Comparison of male breast carcinoma in the Ibos of West Africa and in their ethnologically linked Hebrews of the Middle East. J Coll Med 10: 107-109.
  11. Lilleyman J (2002) From the president. Bull Roy Coll Pathol 117: 2-3.
  12. Onuigbo WIB, Mbanaso AU (2005) Urban histopathology service for a remote Nigerian hospital. Bull Roy Coll Pathol 132: 32-34.
  13. Onuigbo W (1977) Patterns of tumoral calcinosis in Nigeria and Papua New Guinea. P N G Med J 20: 78-79.
  14. Onuigbo WIB (2006) Trans-Atlantic comparison of uterine adenomyosis in West Indians and West Africans. Owerri Med J 1: 18-20.
  15. Onuigbo WIB (2015) Comparative study of skull metastasis of thyroid carcinoma in Japan and Nigeria. Clin Case Rep Rev 1: 149-150.
  16. Onuigbo WIB (2015) Comparative epidemiology of breast carcinoma in Swedish and Nigerian women under 30 years of age. J Women’s Health Care 4: 279.
  17. Onuigbo WIB (2016) A comparative study of mammary Paget’s disease in West Africa and the Middle East. Arch Cancer Res 4: 68.