To present a systematic analysis of population-based cancer patient survival in Italy.
Methods: Population-based survival data have been made available from 10 Italian cancer registries within the ITACARE project. Data, collected and validated using a common protocol, included over 100,000 patients with cancer diagnosed between 1978 and 1989. Multivariate weighted analysis was used to provide relative survival estimates attributable to Italy at national level.
Results: Results are presented, according to a systematic frame, as the main object of the ITACARE study, involving crude and relative survival figures for adult Italian cancer patients, by age, sex, period of diagnosis and registry area. An estimate with reference to Italy as a whole is also presented by cancer site and for all malignant neoplasms combined. Age-standardized relative survival figures are presented to allow comparisons between Italian registries and also give a basis for international comparisons with countries involved in the EUROCARE study.
Conclusions: For the fist time, population-based survival of cancer patients is made available in Italy on a large scale analysis of data from all the Italian cancer registries in a combined action. Estimates of cancer patient survival at a national level in Italy allow proper international comparisons with European countries and give elements of evaluation and discussion on the performance of the Italian health care system.