Revista Cubana de Salud Pública
versão On-line ISSN 0864-3466
Introduction Cancer is the second cause of death in Cuba as of 1958, with an upward trend since then. Objective To identify the features and tendencies of mortality from cancer in Cuba in the 1970-2006 period. Methods A retrospective descriptive study was conducted where those deaths the basic cause of which was cancer -according to the International Classification of Diseases- were taken into account. As for cancer nationwide, there were estimations of the adjusted crude death rate, sex-specific and age-specific death rates, and potential years of life lost, also the gross mortality rate for every province from 2002 to 2006, and the standardized death ratio for all age groups and for under 65 years-old group. Results The true risk of dying of cancer in Cuba tended to increase, with male overmortality and unequal behavior by age groups. The potential years of life lost rates due to cancer showed an upwards trend. Four provinces exceeded the national crude death rate from 2002 to 2006. Conclusions Cancer is a significant health problem in the Cuban population since the mortality rates, which are closely related to the Cuban population aging, have increased. It is the first cause of premature death in the country, and it is likely to become the first cause of death in the future.
Palavras-chave : Cancer; neoplasias; public health; mortality; risk factors.