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Epidemiol Prev. 2006 Jan-Feb;30(1 Suppl 2):8-10, 12-28, 30-101 passim.

Italian cancer figures--report 2006: 1. Incidence, mortality and estimates.

[Article in English, Italian]



The aim of this study, carried out by the Italian Network of Cancer Registries (AIRT), the National Centre for Disease Prevention and Control of the Ministry of Health, the National Institute of Public Health and the National Institute of Statistics, is to describe cancer incidence and mortality in Italy.


The study has three sections. One is based on data from 21 population-based Cancer Registries of the Italian Network of Cancer Registries for the period 1998-2002, that involve about 15,000,000 Italians. The data of the AIRT database are gathered and classified according to IARC rules. The second section presents estimates for all cancers and for the major cancer sites for Italy in 2006, estimates are based on the MIAMOD method. The third part presents data on mortality trends in Italy and in the Italian regions for the major cancer sites from 1970 to 2002.


AIRT pool incidence and mortality data for 36 cancer sites are shown. Data for each registry are also compared. There are age-specific and age-standardised rates, cumulative risks, time trends (1988-1992, 1993-1997, 1998-2002), and some quality indexes. Other AIRT data are also available at Overall cancer incidence is increasing among males and females, while mortality is decreasing. On average, one men every three and one women every four have the probability of having a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime (0-74 years). Among men, prostate surpassed lung as the most frequent cancer site. Among women, breast cancer represents about one fourth of all cases, and we also confirm the increasing trend of lung cancer. In Italy more than 250,000 new cancer cases (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers) are estimated to be diagnosed every year among subjects 0-84 years old. Age-adjusted mortality is decreasing among males and females. The mortality differences between northern and southern regions, quite wide during the 1970s, are decreasing, and rates are becoming homogenous. Mortality started to decrease more recently in the South.


This publication presents a wide and qualified documentation on cancer in Italy; it uses both observed data from the Cancer Registries that involve about one fourth of the resident population, and estimates; the latter enable us to have reliable data for the whole country. Mortality trends up to 2002 show several relevant changes. This publication is a scientific tool we want to offer to all those who work in the prevention, surveillance, care, and treatment of cancer in Italy.

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