A total of 4737 cancers were recorded in Kingston and St Andrew during the period 1998 – 2002: 2387 in males and 2350 in females. Age standardized rates per 100 000 per year (ASR) were 188.6 and 144.2 for males and females respectively. In males, the leading sites for cancer were prostate (873 cases), bronchus (269 cases) and large bowel (176 cases) while in females, the leading sites were breast (639 cases), cervix uteri (318 cases) and large bowel (218 cases). The number of new cases has remained relatively stable, compared to the previous five-year period (1993–1997), but the ASR for females has fallen from 156.7 to 144.2 per 100 000 per year and that for males has increased from 176.7 to 188.6 per 100 000 per year. The leading sites of cancer for both males and females have also been maintained in the same order but there was a moderate increase in prostate cancer (ASR 56.4 vs 65.5 per 100 000 per year) and a moderate decrease in cervical cancer (ASR 25.2 vs 19 per 100 000 per year). The incidence of cancer of the female breast has remained relatively stable (ASR 43.2 vs 40.1 per 100 000 per year). In both males and females, colon cancer incidence rates remain high at ASR of 9.9 per 100 000 per year in males and 9.4 per 100 000 per year in females. These data support the continuation of existing programmes for prevention and control of cancers of the prostate, lung, breast and cervix uteri and the introduction of new programmes specifically for cancers of the large bowel in the Jamaican population.