Ethnic Disparities in Cancer Mortality Among Residents of Guam


Cancer mortality data collected by the Guam Cancer Registry for the period 1998 through 2002 were analyzedby cancer site, age, and ethnicity. Ethnicity and site specific age-adjusted cancer mortality rates for Guam werecalculated utilizing Guam 2000 census data, the US 2000 standard population and compared to U.S. 2002 ageadjustedcancer mortality rates. Age-adjusted cancer mortality rates for ethnic populations represented on Guam,except those of leukemia and non-Hodgkins lymphoma, were high in relation to other population groups and higherthan U.S. averages. Some highlights include: 1.Chamorros had high age-adjusted mortality rates for mouth andpharynx (247.2 vs. 193.5 U.S.), nasopharynx (9.1 vs. 0.2 U.S.), lung and bronchus (66.9 vs. 54.9 U.S.), colon-rectumanus(28.6 vs. 19.7 U.S.), breast (32.0 vs. 28.0 U.S.) and prostate cancer (40.9 vs. 27.9 U.S.); 2.Chamorros (6.4 vs. 2.5U.S.) and Micronesians (6.3) had high and nearly identical age-adjusted mortality rates for cancer of the mouth andpharynx when nasopharyngeal cancers were excluded; 3.Micronesians had the highest mortality rate for liver cancerover all ethnicities documented (43.5 vs. 4.9 U.S.); 4.Asians had the highest mortality rates for pancreatic (12.5 vs.10.5 U.S.) and cervical cancer (8.5 vs. 2.6 U.S.); 5.Caucasians had the highest mortality rates for leukemia (19.9 vs.7.5 U.S.) and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (17.6 vs. 7.6 U.S.). Suggestions are made for further research on bothexplaining and ameliorating cancer mortality disparities among ethnic groups on Guam.