Cancer of the reproductive organs in Costa Rica
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This article analyzes deaths and hospital discharges involving cancer of the reproductive organs in Costa Rica during the period 1956-1969. The focus in on breast, prostate, and uterine cancer, since these three types account for virtually all of the known cases. It is noted that while rates of breast and prostate cancer are very low in Costa Rica, very high rates of uterine cancer have been reported. There appears to be an opportunity for reducing these excessive rates, which have a particularly strong impact on those 45 and over, through special health programs. The analysis also shows a six-year decline in mortality and hospital discharge rates for cancer of the cervix uteri. This progressive decline in cervical cancer, together with a rise in breast cancer, runs parallel to a decline in fertility rates during the same period. The observed rates of prostate cancer was very low, but a progressive rise was noted among those 65 and over. Both this time trend and the observed geographic distribution of prostate cancer in Costa Rica are in conformity with general epidemiologic features of prostate cancer described by studies made in the United States (Au)
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