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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Infectious agents and cancer
Title Ethnicity and cancer in Guyana, South America
Volume 4
Issue Suppl 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
Page numbers S7
URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2638466/
Background: The Cancer Registry of Guyana, a population-based registry was established in 2000.
Over the past eight years, data has been collected from the national referral hospital and other
public and private institutions.
Methods: A comprehensive review of the Registry's database was undertaken, focusing on the
ethnic and site prevalence of the three major reported cancers. The data was then subjected to
summary statistics and the frequencies of cases by ethnicity and age-group were subjected to chi
squared analysis. A 0.05 level of significance was applied to all tests.
Results: There was a clear ethnic distribution of the three major cancers (breast, cervical and
prostate) within the database. Afro-Guyanese men accounted for over 65% of prostate cancers.
Among women, Indo-Guyanese presented with the most cases of breast cancer (45%) while AfroGuyanese
had the majority of cervical cancer cases (39%). When the proportion of cervical cancer
cases for all cancers in an ethnic group was analysed however, cervical cancer was significantly more
common (p < 0.0001) among Indigenous Amerindian women. Similarly, by age-group analysis, there
were significantly more cases of cervical than breast cancer (p = 0.014) among women under 30
years of age.
Conclusion: The Cancer Registry of Guyana reflects a high incidence of prostate, cervical and
breast cancers among Afro-Guyanese. Socio-economic, dietary and genetic influences on the
observed pattern of incidence within this ethnic sub-group, as well as those of Indo-Guyanese and
Indigenous Amerindians warrant further investigation.

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