the years of life lost (yll) due to breast cancer (bc) and cervical cancer (cc) for colombia were calculated for the years 1997 and 2007, according to the socioecononuc strata. female deaths were included for bc and cc. the unsatisfied basic needs index was employed at departmental level and mortality tables from departamento administrativo nacional de estadística (dane). in 2007, there were 48.098 years of life lost (yll) due to bc and cc, 56,6% due to the first cause. a slight decrease was observed in the yll due to cc (0,9%) and an increase due to bc (49,8%). women from the middle and upper strata had the biggest increase of yll due to bc, while those from the poorest strata did due to cc. it's necessary to reinforce the current measures aimed at decreasing and easing the gaps in mortality due to both cancers, as it's also important to consider socioeconomic differences in the formulation of public policies around the subject.