This retrospective and observational study is based on a review of data from the pathology ledgers and clinical records of the Rand Memorial Hospital, of diagnoses and deaths from cancer from 1988 to 2002 (15 years). The aim was to determine the cancer incidence, mortality, survival rates and the trends for the island of Grand Bahama, Bahamas. The records indicated at least 545 (males: 187; females: 358) new cancer diagnoses giving an approximate age-standardized annual incidence rate of 167.7 per 100 000. The most frequent cancers were, in males (except for skin keratinocytic cancers) prostate 21.9%, colon/rectum 12.8% and lung 6.4%; and in females: breast 45.3%, cervix uteri 16.8% and colon/rectum 6.4%. Of these cancers, 443 (81.3%) were diagnosed in the pathology department of the hospital with the median age at diagnosis of all persons being 52 years. This comprised 119 males and 324 females. Whereas the majority of breast and cervical cancers were histologically diagnosed locally, those of prostate and lung were not. During the period, 359 (males: 181; females: 178) persons had died from cancer; an annual age-standardized mortality rate of 114.8 per 100 000, with breast 19.2%, prostate 14.5% and colon/rectum 9.5% being the most frequent. The overall median period of survival was one year (range 0–14 years). The median survival for persons with cervix uteri was five years; for breast cancer, three years; colorectal cancer, 2 years; prostate, one year; and less than a year for lung cancer. The data on cancer were not easily obtained and this may be improved if a cancer registry is established on this second most populated island of The Bahamas.