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Cancer incidence in French Polynesia 1985–95

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objective  To describe the variations in cancer incidence in the population born in French Polynesia (FP) according to the archipelago of birth and to compare this incidence with that of Hawaiians and Maoris.

methods  Study of data from the Cancer Registry of FP, evacuation files, insurance records, hospital and pathology laboratory files.

results  The overall world standardized cancer incidence in FP during the 1985–95 period in the populations born and living in FP was 246 per 105 person-years (PY) among women and 244 per 105 PY among men. The overall cancer incidence was similar to that in Hawaiians, but 25% lower than in Maoris. Digestive tract cancer incidence was a third that of these two reference populations, whereas that of pharynx, larynx and thyroid cancers was approximately twice as high. The overall cancer incidence rate increased between the period 1985–89 and the period 1990–95 in women, but was stable in men. Colorectal cancer incidence was highest in inhabitants born on the Windward Islands. Women born on the Austral Islands had a higher thyroid and liver cancer incidence and a lower breast cancer incidence.

conclusions  Further studies are needed to elucidate the variations observed between FP archipelagos, Maoris and Hawaiians.

Keywords: French Polynesia; cancer incidence; colorectal cancer; epidemiology; geographical study; thyroid cancer

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France 2: Office de Protection contre les Rayonnements Ionisants, Le Vésinet, France 3: Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Arue, Tahiti, French Polynesia 4: Centre Hospitalier Territorial Mamao, Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia 5: Direction de la Santé, Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

Publication date: 2000-10-01

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