Trends in cancer mortality in the Americas, 1970-2000

C. Bosetti, M. Malvezzi, L. Chatenoud, E. Negri, F. Levi, C. La Vecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Data and statistics on cancer mortality over the last decades are available for most developed countries, while they are more difficult to obtain, in a standardized and comparable format, for countries of Latin America. Patients and methods: Age standardized (world population) mortality rates around the year 2000, derived from the WHO database, are presented for 14 selected cancers and total cancer in 10 countries of Latin America, plus, for comparative purposes, Canada and the USA. Trends in mortality are also given over the period 1970-2000. Results: In 2000, the highest total cancer mortality for males was observed in Argentina and Chile, with rates comparable to those of Canada and the USA, i.e. about 155/100 000. For women, Chile and Cuba had the highest rates in Latin America (114 and 103/100 000, respectively), again comparable to those of North America (around 105/100 000). These reflect the comparatively high mortality from cancer of the stomach (for Chile), lung and intestines (for Argentina) in men, and of stomach and uterus (for Chile), intestines and lung (for Cuba) in women. Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico had the lowest total cancer mortality for men, due to low mortality from stomach, colorectal and lung cancer. For women, the lowest rates were in Brazil and Puerto Rico, reflecting their low stomach and cervical cancer rates. In Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Venezuela cancer mortality rates tended to decline, particularly in men. Rates were stable in Ecuador and Puerto Rico, and were increasing in Mexico and Cuba. Conclusions: Mortality from some common cancers (including colorectal and lung) is still low in Latin America compared with Canada and the USA, and decreasing trends have been observed in the last decades for some cancer sites (including stomach, uterus, lung and other tobacco-related cancers) in several countries. However, mortality from female lung and breast cancers has been increasing in most countries of Latin America, and several countries still show an extremely elevated mortality from cancer of the cervix. Selected neoplasms amenable to treatment, including testis and leukemias, also show unsatisfactory trends in Latin America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-511
Number of pages23
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005


  • Cancer
  • Latin America
  • Mortality
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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