Background: Between the 1970s and 2000 mortality in most of Latin America showed favorable trends for some common cancer sites, including stomach and male lung cancer. However, major concerns were related to mortality patterns from other cancers, particularly in women. We provide an up-to-date picture of patterns and trends in cancer mortality in Latin America. Methods: We analyzed data from the World Health Organization mortality database in 2005-2009 for 20 cancer sites in 11 Latin American countries and, for comparative purposes, in the USA and Canada. We computed age-standardized (world population) rates (per 100 000 person-year) and provided an overview of trends since 1980 using joinpoint regression models. Results: Cancer mortality from some common cancers (including colorectum and lung) is still comparatively low in Latin America, and decreasing trends continue for other cancer sites (including stomach, uterus, male lung cancers) in several countries. However, there were upward trends for colorectal cancer mortality for both sexes, and for lung and breast cancer mortality in women from most countries. During the last decade, lung cancer mortality in women rose by 1%-3% per year in all Latin American countries except Mexico and Costa Rica, whereas rises of about 1% were registered for breast cancer in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. Moreover, high mortality from cancer of the cervix uteri was recorded in most countries, with rates over 13/100 000 women in Cuba and Venezuela. In men, upward trends were registered for prostate cancer mortality in Brazil and Colombia, but also in Cuba, where the rate in 2005-2009 was more than twice that of the USA (23.6 versus 10/100 000). Conclusions: Tobacco control, efficient screening programs, early cancer detection and widespread access to treatments continue to be a major priority for cancer prevention in most Latin American countries.
- Latin America
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