Cancer incidence and mortality in the elderly: Profile of the Italian problem

R. Puntoni, M. Ceppi, C. Casella, E. Conti, P. Crosignani, V. De Lisi, L. Gafa, G. Stanta, R. Zanetti, M. Vercelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Italy, 28% of all deaths are due to cancer. Of the 15% of the population that is 65 years or older, 65% of cancer deaths occur in men and 69.5% in women. The proportional mortality and incidence of cancer in Italy varies with increasing age. All patients over 65 years are found to be at increased risk for intestinal cancers. In older men, the proportion of lung and urinary tract cancers decreases, while prostate, intestinal and gastric cancers increases. Prostate cancer predominates in men over 85 years, and intestinal and gastric cancers are relatively more common than lung cancer. In women over age 74, intestinal cancer is most common. Breast, genital, and lung cancers decrease rapidly with age, while stomach, liver, gallbladder, and pancreatic cancers increase with age. The ratio of incidence to mortality for all cancers studied is shown to equalize with increased age, the probable result of lower hospitalization rates and less adequate cancer therapy for the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-13
Number of pages3
JournalCancer Control
Issue number2 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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