Objective: The aim of this paper is to outline the age effect on cancer trends observed in Italy between 1998 and 2005. Methods: We analysed crude and age-adjusted cancer incidence and mortality trends for 36 sites and both sexes using data from 22 population-based registries of the Italian Network of Cancer Registries (AIRTUM). Some 818,017 incident cancers and 342,444 cancer deaths were analysed. Results: The population aged 65. years and older increased from 19.0% to 20.6% between 1998 and 2005 with a significant effect on the cancer burden. The all-cancer, age-adjusted incidence rate was quite stable over the period (all sites excluding non-melanoma skin cancers: annual percent change (APC) men +. 0.3 CI +. 0.1/+0.5, women +. 0.2 CI - 0.1/+0.4), but population ageing resulted in a growing number of new cases (crude rates: APC men +. 1.3 CI +. 1.0/+1.7, women +. 0.9 CI +. 0.6/+1.2). This effect was not evident for those cancer sites with high incidence rates among young subjects. The all-cancer, age-adjusted mortality rate decreased in both sexes but the crude rate changed in women only. Mortality increased for lung cancer among women (APC +. 1.5; CI +. 0.5/+2.5) and for melanoma among men (APC +. 2.7; CI +. 0.5/+4.8). Conclusions: Recent cancer trends in Italy are quite favourable, showing decreasing mortality rates for most sites (except for lung cancer among women and melanoma among men) and showing overall stable incidence. However, it follows that population ageing will have increased the cancer diagnostic and therapeutic needs and costs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology