EU mortality rates predicted to decline for many tumor types
medwireNews: Mortality rates associated with most of the major cancer sites are expected to decline in the European Union (EU) in 2018, research indicates.
Carlo La Vecchia (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy) and colleagues found favorable trends across men and women for all analyzed tumor types, with the exception of lung and pancreatic cancers in women, the mortality rates associated with both of which are projected to rise this year.
Using the World Health Organization Statistical Information System and the Eurostat database, they estimated age-standardized rates (ASRs) of 128.9 per 100,000 men and 83.6 per 100,000 women in 2018. This compared with rates in 2012 of 143.8 and 88.0 per 100,000 men and women, respectively, which equated to corresponding reductions of 10.3% and 5.0%.
The predicted mortality rates in 2018 are highest for lung cancer, at 32.4 and 14.7 per 100,000 men and women, respectively, but for men this constitutes a decrease of 13.0% from 2012, while the rate is higher by 5.8% for women.
Colorectal cancer is predicted to be the second most common cause of cancer deaths among men and the third most common among women, with ASRs of 15.8 and 9.2 per 100,000 men and women, respectively. But in this case, the estimated 2018 rates are lower than the 2012 values for both men and women, with corresponding decreases of 6.7% and 7.5%.
La Vecchia said in a press release that “[this] fall in mortality that we are predicting for 2018, has been one of the major success stories in clinical oncology. This improvement in death rates in Europe comes in the absence of a single major breakthrough and is due to improved diagnosis and management of the disease.”
As reported in the Annals of Oncology, the predicted trends are also favorable in both sexes for bladder and gastric cancers and leukemias, and for breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancers, with reductions ranging from 4–19% relative to 2012.
Finally, the rate of pancreatic cancer-associated mortality is expected to remain stable from 2012 to 2018 among men, but to increase by 2.8% among women.
The study authors estimate an increase in the total number of cancer deaths in 2018 compared with 2012, at 1,382,000 versus 1,333,362 – equating to an increase of 3.6% – but they attribute this rise to the aging population.
Speaking to the press, Fabrice André, the Editor-in-Chief of the publishing journal, stressed: “While this study suggests that improving cancer detection and quality of care translates into better outcome, it also reminds everyone that 1.4 million patients in Europe will die because of cancer in 2018 and that research efforts need to be amplified.”
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