Cancer incidence and mortality rates and trends in Trinidad and Tobago

Wayne A. Warner, Tammy Y. Lee, Kimberly Badal, Tanisha M. Williams, Smriti Bajracharya, Vasavi Sundaram, Nigel A. Bascombe, Ravi Maharaj, Marjorie Lamont-Greene, Allana Roach, Melissa Bondy, Matthew J. Ellis, Timothy R. Rebbeck, Simeon Slovacek, Jingqin Luo, Adetunji T. Toriola, Adana A.M. Llanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the Caribbean, including the islands of Trinidad and Tobago (TT). The population of TT consists of over 1.3 million people with diverse ancestral and sociocultural backgrounds, both of which may influence cancer incidence and mortality. The objective of this study was to examine incidence and mortality patterns and trends in TT. Methods: Cancer surveillance data on 29,512 incident cancer cases reported to the Dr. Elizabeth Quamina Cancer Registry (population-based cancer registry of TT) between 1995 and 2009 were analyzed. Age-standardized rates, overall and by sex, ancestry, and geography, were reported. Results: The highest incidence and mortality rates were observed for cancers related to reproductive organs in women, namely, breast, cervical, and uterine cancers, and prostate, lung and colorectal cancers among men. Average incidence rates were highest in areas covered by the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) (188 per 100,000), while average mortality rates were highest in areas covered by the North West Regional Health Authority (108 per 100,000). Nationals of African ancestry exhibited the highest rates of cancer incidence (243 per 100,000) and mortality (156 per 100,000) compared to their counterparts who were of East Indian (incidence, 125 per 100,000; mortality, 66 per 100,000) or mixed ancestry (incidence, 119 per 100,000; mortality, 66 per 100,000). Conclusions: Our findings highlight the need for national investment to improve the understanding of the epidemiology of cancer in Trinidad and Tobago, and to ultimately guide much needed cancer prevention and control initiatives in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number712
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 4 2018


  • Cancer in populations of African ancestry
  • Cancer in populations of Indian ancestry
  • Cancer incidence
  • Cancer mortality
  • Cancer surveillance
  • Caribbean
  • Trinidad and Tobago


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