CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Asian J Neurosurg 2023; 18(01): 001-004
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1760855
Review Article

Brain Tumor: A Review of Its Demographic in a Rural Hospital of Sibu in Sarawak, Malaysia

Yu Wei Heng
1   Department of Neurosurgery, Sibu Hospital, Sarawak, Malaysia
Kia Hooi Tan
1   Department of Neurosurgery, Sibu Hospital, Sarawak, Malaysia
Nelson Kok Bing Yap
1   Department of Neurosurgery, Sibu Hospital, Sarawak, Malaysia
› Author Affiliations


According to World Health Organization's GLOBOCAN 2012 database, brain tumors account for about 2% of all cancers in Malaysia. It was ranked 11th and 13th most common cancer among males and females, respectively. This debilitating disease can cause a tremendous burden to patients and their families and healthcare services. The main objective of this study is to provide demographic data on the type of brain tumors and their distribution of age and gender from the cases presented to the neurosurgical department of a rural hospital in Sibu from 2018 to 2021. This is a retrospective study of the incidence and pattern of brain tumors admitted to the Neurosurgery Department in Sibu Hospital. Data were emanated from the brain tumor registry census from 2018 to 2021. Of all cases, only cases with confirmed histopathological results were included. Inoperable brain tumors that were diagnosed through radiological investigations were excluded. There were 230 patients with brain tumors included in this study. Males constituted 42.6% (n = 98) of the cases, whereas 57.4% (n = 132) of them were female. The brain tumor was the least common in the pediatric group (0 to 10 years old) with only 3.5% (n = 8). The incidence of brain tumors increased with age and reached its peak in the age group of 51 to 60 years (34.8%). The commonest type of brain tumor was meningioma (38.7%), followed by a metastatic brain tumor (25.2%) and glioma (15.6%). Meningothelial WHO grade I was the most common variant that accounted for 67% (n = 46) of all meningioma. Lung carcinoma was found to be the most common primary, accounting for more than half (69.0%) of the metastatic brain tumors, followed by breast cancer (10.3%), thyroid cancer (8.6%), female genital tract (8.6%), and malignant melanoma (3.5%). The crude incidence of the brain tumor in Sibu was 4.98 per 100,000 population/year. This study showed that the commonest brain tumor in central rural of Sarawak was meningioma, followed by metastatic brain tumor and glioma. Meningothelial is the most frequent subtype of meningioma, whereas lung carcinoma was the commonest primary in brain metastases. The peak age group was 51 to 60 years old, and females showed a higher incidence than males. This study provides a baseline profile of the brain tumor spectrum in rural Sarawak. More data should be collected to aid in future research and healthcare planning.

Publication History

Article published online:
27 March 2023

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