Breast cancer prevalence measured by the lombardy cancer registry

Andrea Micheli, Gemma Gatta, Milena Sant, Vittorio Krogh, Concetta Perone, Livio Dell'Era, Stefania Saltarelli, Franco Berrino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims and background: Breast cancer is the most important malignant neoplasm affecting women in Western countries. An increasing number of women undergo regular medical checkups, especially during the first years following the diagnosis. Therefore, from the health planning point of view, it is essential to have prevalence measures to furnish estimates for the demands that the health care system could possibly undergo. Methods: By means of PREVAL, a computerized program, breast cancer prevalence has been measured in the Varese province using incidence and follow-up data from the Lombardy Cancer Registry (LCR). Results: During the 1986-1988 period, breast cancer prevalence for patients alive within 10 years from diagnosis was about 625 per 100,000 resident women. Of these, 54% were over 60 years and 9% were under 45 years of age. Patients alive within 2 years from diagnosis were about 200 per 100,000 residents; considering the 19781980 period, patients alive within 2 years from diagnosis were just 140 per 100,000 residents. This dramatic increase in breast cancer prevalence is present also for long-term survivors (i.e. patients alive at 10-13 years from the diagnosis). Extrapolating breast cancer prevalence measured in the Varese province to the whole Lombardy region, the expected number of prevalent cases alive within 10 years of the diagnosis, presently living in Lombardy, would be 27,500. LCR's breast cancer prevalence figures were compatible with available data provided by the Finnish Cancer Registry. Conclusion: Owing to aging of the population, the improvement in survival and the increasing incidence, the number of prevalent cases will increase. This phenomenon has and will have great importance for the health planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-879
Number of pages5
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997


  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer registry
  • Prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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