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About 1.1 million new cancer cases and 600,000 cancer deaths are estimated to occur annually in Latin America and the Caribbean. Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among males, with about 51,000 deaths annually, followed by lung cancer and stomach cancer. Among females, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, with about 43,000 deaths annually, followed by cervical and lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both sexes combined in this region.

Estimated numbers of new cancer cases and deaths, both sexes, 2012

Download High Res Text alternative: Estimated numbers of new cancer cases and deaths in Latin America and the Caribbean, both sexes, 2012
Charts showing the estimated numbers of new cancer cases and deaths in Latin America and the Caribbean, both sexes, in 2012 which indicate that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both sexes combined in this region

Notably, lung cancer mortality rates among females continue to increase in most countries of the Americas.

There is considerable variation in cancer rates and trends within Latin America. For example, cervical cancer incidence rates in 2012 ranged from 11.4 cases per 100,000 population in Costa Rica to 47.7 cases per 100,000 in Bolivia, with the highest rates generally found in low-income countries.

Cervical cancer rates are decreasing in many countries due to increased screening, while breast cancer rates are increasing due to increased prevalence of hormonally-linked factors such as delayed childbearing and lower parity, as well as lifestyle risk factors. Gallbladder cancer rates are exceptionally high in many Latin American countries, especially Chile and Bolivia, for unknown reasons. Lung cancer mortality rates have begun to stabilize or decrease among males in many middle-income countries of the Americas, such as Argentina and Brazil, because of decreased smoking prevalence. Notably, lung cancer mortality rates among females continue to increase in most countries of the Americas, reflecting the lag in smoking reduction.

While cervical cancer rates are decreasing, breast cancer rates are increasing in this region.

Trends in cervical and female breast cancer incidence, age-standardized rates (world) per 100,000 females, all ages, 1981-2006

Download High Res Text alternative: Trends in cervical and female breast cancer incidence, age-standardized rates (world) per 100,000 population, all ages, 1981-2006
Graphs showing the trends in cervical and female breast cancer incidence in Latin America and the Caribbean, age-standardized rates per 100,000 population, all ages, from1981-2006 which indicate that while cervical cancer rates are decreasing, breast cancer rates are increasing in this region