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Eur J Cancer. 1998 Dec;34(14 Spec No):2139-53.

Introduction: the EUROCARE II Study.

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Division of Epidemiology, Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Milan.


This introduction provides a general overview of the aims, methods and procedures used in the EUROCARE II study and the types of analyses presented in each article of this Special Issue of the European Journal of Cancer. The main aims of the EUROCARE II project are the updating of the survival database of the European Cancer Registries, the study of recent trends in relative survival rates and the interpretation of the survival differences observed both in time and across populations. Once having completed the preliminary stage of data checking, a total of 3,473,659 individual records from patients of all cancer sites, diagnosed between 1978 and 1989 and provided by 45 cancer registries in 17 European countries were accepted to build up the EUROCARE database. The quality of these data, in terms of the accuracy of the diagnosis and the validity of vital status assessment, was checked by indirect indicators, based on cross-validation analysis of consistency of the relevant variables. Statistical analysis was based on age-specific relative survival rates, computed for each cancer sites as the ratio of observed survival to the expected survival of the general population of the same area, gender and age, according to the Hakulinen method. An estimate of the European survival was computed as a weighted mean of the corresponding survival of the different countries, using as weights the expected yearly number of incident cases in each country. For comparison purposes, age-standardised survival was also calculated for Europe and for each country involved in the study.

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