Home news Cancer mortality is falling in the European Union

Cancer mortality is falling in the European Union

A laboratory technician responsible for analyzing patients' biopsies (illustration image). – ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT / AFP

Europe is making progress on cancer mortality. On the
breast cancer, for example, researchers estimate that mortality rates will drop this year by 9% across the European Union compared to 2014, except in Poland, in a detailed article in a journal Annals of Oncology.

Among the six most populous countries, the United Kingdom has the highest predictions of a decline in breast cancer deaths (-13% since 2014), followed by France (-10%), Germany (-9%) ), Italy (-7%), Spain (-5%), while in Poland it is a 2% increase that is expected. This work confirms the continued downward trend of cancer mortality in the EU since 2014, as a percentage of the population, write the researchers.

An increasingly older population

The probability of dying from a cancer is indeed decreasing: standardized mortality rates have decreased from 139 per 100,000 men in 2014 to 131 per 100,000 in 2019 (a decrease of 6%) and from 86 to 83 per 100,000 women ( down 3.6%), according to the study.

But because of the aging and the growth of the European population (513 million in 2018, according to Eurostat) the number of deaths increases moderately in absolute numbers. Of the 1,410,000 cancer deaths projected in 2019, 787,000 are men and 621,900 are women.

Lung cancer, the deadliest

According to the authors, professors Carlo La Vecchia (University of Milan, Italy) and Fabio Levi (University of Lausanne, Switzerland) and their colleagues, the lung cancer deaths among women, who started smoking later than men will exceed in 2019 those with breast cancers (96,800 against 92,800).

Lung cancer remains the most deadly in both sexes, with 279,000 deaths (including 183,000 male deaths) expected in 2019. "More efforts and investments must be made to prevent the occurrence of the most common cancers, especially by reducing the number of people who smoke and who are in excess weight, "adds Professor Fabrice André (Institut Gustave Roussy, Paris region), oncologist and editor-in-chief of the journal.

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