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Ann Oncol. 2005 Mar;16(3):481-8. Epub 2005 Feb 17.

Cancer incidence and mortality in Europe, 2004.

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International Agency for Research on Cancer, 150 cours Albert Thomas, 69372 Lyon Cedex 08, France.



There are no recent estimates of the incidence and mortality from cancer at a European level. Those data that are available generally refer to the mid-1990s and are of limited use for cancer control planning. We present estimates of the cancer burden in Europe in 2004, including data for the (25 Member States) European Union.


The most recent sources of incidence and mortality data available in the Descriptive Epidemiology Group at IARC were applied to population projections to derive the best estimates of the burden of cancer, in terms of incidence and mortality, for Europe in 2004.


In 2004 in Europe, there were an estimated 2,886,800 incident cases of cancer diagnosed and 1,711,000 cancer deaths. The most common incident form of cancer was lung cancer (13.3% of all incident cases), followed by colorectal cancer (13.2%) and breast cancer (13%). Lung cancer was also the most common cause of cancer death (341,800 deaths), followed by colorectal (203,700), stomach (137,900) and breast (129,900).


With an estimated 2.9 million new cases (54% occurring in men, 46% in women) and 1.7 million deaths (56% in men, 44% in women) each year, cancer remains an important public health problem in Europe, and the ageing of the European population will cause these numbers to continue to increase even if age-specific rates remain constant. To make great progress quickly against cancer in Europe, the need is evident to make a concerted attack on the big killers: lung, colorectal, breast and stomach cancer. Stomach cancer rates are falling everywhere in Europe and public health measures are available to reduce the incidence and mortality of lung cancer, colorectal cancer and breast cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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