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Analysis of cancer incidence, mortality and survival combined reveals encouraging European trends
Date:7/1/2008

or example, might be real, i.e. because of increasing risks due to previous cancer-causing or promoting agents, or they might be due to improvements in the completeness of the cancer registry, changes in diagnostic criteria, or effects of early detection methods such as population screening. Likewise, improving cancer survival could be due to better treatment, but also because of earlier diagnosis of patients in whom cancer would otherwise be detected much later or who would even never have had clinical disease."

The researchers found that generally in the more prosperous countries of Northern and Western Europe the trend was downwards for cancer incidence; the exceptions were for obesity-related cancers such as colorectal and postmenopausal breast cancer, and for tobacco-related cancers in women, such as lung cancer.

Incidence and mortality from tobacco-related cancer decreased for men in Northern, Western and Southern Europe, they increased for both sexes in Central Europe and for women nearly everywhere in Europe. With the exception of smoking-related cancers, mortality trends generally in most cancers were moving downwards for most of Europe.

Survival rates for most cancers generally improved. The researchers say this is due to better access to specialised diagnostics, staging and treatment. "Marked effects of organised or opportunistic screening became visible for breast, prostate and melanoma in the wealthier countries," they report. For instance, although the incidence of breast cancer continues to rise in most countries, deaths are declining and survival is improving. The rising incidence and survival rates are partly influenced by the presence of organised breast cancer screening programmes and even opportunistic screening that increases the detection of smaller and less aggressive tumours, resulting in decreased mortality after five to eight years. Survival and mortality is influenced also by improved staging and treatment, such
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
44-077-112-96986
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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