Leading Causes of Cancer Mortality - Caribbean Region, 2003-2013

Cancer is one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide (1); in 2012, an estimated 65% of all cancer deaths occurred in the less developed regions of the world (2). In the Caribbean region, cancer is the second leading cause of mortality, with an estimated 87,430 cancer-related deaths reported in 2012 (3). The Pan American Health Organization defines the Caribbean region as a group of 27 countries that vary in size, geography, resources, and surveillance systems.* CDC calculated site- and sex-specific proportions of cancer deaths and age-standardized mortality rates (ASMR) for 21 English- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean countries, the United States, and two U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands [USVI]), using the most recent 5 years of mortality data available from each jurisdiction during 2003-2013. The selection of years varied by availability of the data from the countries and territories in 2015. ASMR for all cancers combined ranged from 46.1 to 139.3 per 100,000. Among males, prostate cancers were the leading cause of cancer deaths, followed by lung cancers; the percentage of cancer deaths attributable to prostate cancer ranged from 18.4% in Suriname to 47.4% in Dominica, and the percentage of cancer deaths attributable to lung cancer ranged from 5.6% in Barbados to 24.4% in Bermuda. Among females, breast cancer was the most common cause of cancer deaths, ranging from 14.0% of cancer deaths in Belize to 29.7% in the Cayman Islands, followed by cervical cancer. Several of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the Caribbean can be reduced through primary and secondary preventions, including prevention of exposure to risk factors, screening, early detection, and timely and effective treatment.

MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report. 2016 Dec 16*** epublish ***

Hilda Razzaghi, Sarah Quesnel-Crooks, Recinda Sherman, Rachael Joseph, Betsy Kohler, Glennis Andall-Brereton, Marsha A Ivey, Brenda K Edwards, Les Mery, Vilma Gawryszewski, Mona Saraiya