Background: Current cancer mortality statistics are important for public health decision-making and resource allocation. Age-standardized rates and numbers of deaths are predicted for 2016 in the European Union (EU).
Patients and methods: Population and death certification data for stomach, colorectum, pancreas, lung, breast, uterus, prostate, leukaemias and total cancers were obtained from the World Health Organization database and Eurostat. Figures were derived for the EU, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK. Projected numbers of deaths by age group were obtained for 2016 by linear regression on estimated numbers of deaths over the most recent time period identified by a joinpoint regression model.
Results: Projected total cancer mortality trends for 2016 in the EU are favourable in both sexes with rates of 133.5/100 000 men and 85.2/100 000 women (8% and 3% falls since 2011) corresponding to 753 600 and 605 900 deaths in men and women for a total number of 1 359 500 projected cancer deaths (+3% compared with 2011, due to population ageing). In men, lung, colorectal and prostate cancer have fallen 11%, 5% and 8%, respectively, since 2011. Breast and colorectal cancer trends in women are favourable (8% and 7% falls, respectively), but lung and pancreatic cancer rates have risen 5% and 4% since 2011 reaching rates of 14.4 and 5.6/100 000 women. Leukaemias show favourable projected mortality for both sexes and all age groups, with stronger falls in the younger age groups. All ages rates are 4.0/100 000 men and 2.5/100 000 women, with falls of 14% and 12% respectively.
Conclusion: The 2016 predictions for EU cancer mortality confirm the favourable trends in rates particularly for men. Lung cancer is likely to be the leading site for female cancer rates. Continuing falls in mortality, larger in children and young adults, are predicted in leukaemias, essentially due to advancements in management and therapy, and their subsequent adoption across Europe.
Keywords: Europe; cancer; leukaemia; mortality; projections; time trends.
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