Cancer Prevention

Following the establishment of the South Pacific Commission Cancer Registry in 1977, interest abounded regarding the apparent dichotomy of high tobacco consumption and low cancer incidence of a number of South Pacific nations. Fugi, for example, has an age-standardized incidence rate of 75 cases per 100,000 males (112.2/100,000 females) compared to 237/100,000 males and 220/100,000 females in the United States. Both tobacco and kava are indigenous crops of these island nations. Men traditionally stop by kava bars to enjoy a bowl of kava on the way home from work. On the other hand, female consumption is highly variable. Data analysis reveals an inverse relationship between cancer incidence and kava consumption. A large difference exists between the age-standardized cancer incidence of these South Pacific island nations and that of the United States (30).

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