Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer Causes Control. 2012 Sep;23(9):1497-510. doi: 10.1007/s10552-012-0025-8. Epub 2012 Jul 21.

Cancer prevalence in Italy: an analysis of geographic variability.

Author information

Registro Tumori del Veneto, Istituto Oncologico Veneto IRCCS, Padua, Italy.



Statistics on cancer prevalence are scanty. The objectives of this study were to describe the cancer prevalence in Italy and to explore determinants of geographic heterogeneity.


The study included data from 23 population-based cancer registries, including one-third of the Italian population. Five-year cancer prevalence was observed, and complete prevalence (i.e., all patients living after a cancer diagnosis) was estimated through sex-, age-, cancer site-, and observation period length-specific completeness indices by means of regression models.


In 2006, 3.8 % of men and 4.6 % of women in Italy were alive after a cancer diagnosis, with a 5-year prevalence of 1.9 % and 1.7 % in men and women, respectively. A relevant geographic variability emerged for all major cancer sites. When compared to national pooled estimates, crude cancer prevalence proportions were 10 % higher in the north and 30 % lower in the south of Italy. However, these variations were consistently reduced after age adjustment and, in both sexes, largely overlapped those of incidence rates, with correlations >0.90 between variations of prevalence and incidence for all cancer sites and areas.


Magnitude of the cancer prevalence and the geographic heterogeneity herein outlined in Italy will help in meeting the needs of specific population of survivor patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center