Cancer incidence and mortality in the Caribbean.Cancer Invest. 2007 Sep; 25(6):476-83.CI
Nearly 10% of immigrants to the United States come from the Caribbean region. In this paper, we analyzed incidence and mortality rates of the major cancers in the Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad and Tobago, and compared them with US patterns.
We obtained age-standardized, sex-specific cancer incidence and mortality rates for cancers of the bladder, breast, cervix, esophagus, large bowel, liver, lung, pancreas, prostate, and stomach for 8 Caribbean countries and the United States from the GLOBOCAN program of the International Agency for Research in Cancer (IARC) and for the U.S. population from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the NCI.
GLOBOCAN incidence and mortality rates for the overall United States were lower than but correlated with overall SEER rates. Based on GLOBOCAN data, the incidence and mortality rates of cancers of the breast, prostate, large bowel, and lung, and, among males, bladder cancer were lower in the Caribbean countries than the United States. Caribbean countries had higher rates of cancers of the cervix, esophagus, liver, and stomach. Haiti had the highest incidence and mortality rates of cervix and liver cancers. Jamaica and Haiti had the highest rates of stomach cancer.
Cancer incidence and mortality in the Caribbean generally follow known patterns of association with economic development, infectious agents, and racial/ethnic origin. Studying these patterns and how immigration changes them may yield clues to cancer etiology. A better understanding of cancer incidence and mortality rates may help health policymakers to implement state-of-the-art treatment and preventive services for people of Caribbean descent both in their native countries and in immigrant communities in the United States.