Cancer Prevalence in Easter Island Population - 2006-2010

  • Published : 2013.05.30


In Easter Island, population is composed by original habitants, the Rapa Nui culture and introduced people, mainly from continental Chile, who have a different ethnic origin. The aim of this research was to describe cancer frequency in resident population in Easter Island, and secondarily compare the findings with other islands of Polynesia and continental Chile. We reviewed the statistics of patients treated in Hanga Roa Hospital during the period 2006-2010, finding a total of 49 patients with cancer during the study. The most frequent cancers in Easter Island's people were breast cancer (8 cases), skin (8 cases), cervical (8 cases), lung (5 cases) and gastric (4 cases). According to gender, in females the most frequent cancer was breast, followed by skin and cervical, while in men, lung, prostate and hematopoietic cancers were the most frequent. Most cases of cervical cancer occurred in women of Rapa Nui ethnicity, while most skin cancers were found in non-Rapa Nui people. In case of the most common cancer in Easter Island, education (e.g. Papanicolaou and mammography screening) and prevention in the community (e.g. use sun block, avoid cigarettes) should be useful tools to reduce incidence.


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