Background: Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Venezuela. Understanding trends in cancer incidence and mortality is important for assessing the current situation and evaluating progress, requirements to undertaking any cancer program and allocating resources to different control strategies.
Aim: To determine the changes in the temporal distribution of cancer in Venezuela between 1990 and 2010.
Methods: We conducted an observational, descriptive, cross-sectional and retrospective study on the trends of cancer incidence and mortality in Venezuela during the years 1990-2010. The data came from the National Cancer Registry and Mortality Yearbook of the Ministry of Health. A generalized linear model with Poisson regression was adjusted to set the trend of cases, standardized rates and mortality to incidence ratio.
Results: One in seven deaths in Venezuela corresponds to cancer. The incidence and mortality for females and males remained constant over the study period. Incidence rates and higher cancer mortality in men were prostate, lung, stomach, colon and rectum. For females were breast, cervix, lung, colon and rectum, and stomach. Overall, the average annual change in incidence and mortality rates for males and females has decreased. However, the average changes from breast, prostate and colorectal cancer has increased. Under 15 years, leukemia is the leading cause of death in both genders.
Conclusions: Existing data confirm the magnitude of the problem of cancer in Venezuela. The analysis derived from this statistical information will be an important component of cancer control programs. The impact of these data can be recognized by constantly analyzing how health system can provide successful intervention in reducing the burden of cancer in the country.