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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Apr 17;64(14):389-93.

Invasive cancer incidence - Puerto Rico, 2007-2011.


Cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and death in Puerto Rico. To set a baseline for identifying new trends and patterns of cancer incidence, Puerto Rico Central Cancer Registry staff and CDC analyzed data from Puerto Rico included in U.S. Cancer Statistics (USCS) for 2007-2011, the most recent data available. This is the first report of invasive cancer incidence rates for 2007-2011 among Puerto Rican residents by sex, age, cancer site, and municipality. Cancer incidence rates in Puerto Rico were compared with those in the U.S. population for 2011. A total of 68,312 invasive cancers were diagnosed and reported in Puerto Rico during 2007-2011. The average annual incidence rate was 330 cases per 100,000 persons. The cancer sites with the highest cancer incidence rates included prostate (152), female breast (84), and colon and rectum (43). Cancer incidence rates varied by municipality, particularly for prostate, lung and bronchus, and colon and rectum cancers. In 2011, cancer incidence rates in Puerto Rico were lower for all cancer sites and lung and bronchus, but higher for prostate and thyroid cancers, compared with rates within the U.S.


Identifying these variations can aid evaluation of factors associated with high incidence, such as cancer screening practices, and development of targeted cancer prevention and control efforts. Public health professionals can monitor cancer incidence trends and use these findings to evaluate the impact of prevention efforts, such as legislation prohibiting tobacco use in the workplace and public places and the Puerto Rico Cessation Quitline in decreasing lung and other tobacco-related cancers.

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