Cancer mortality in Italy, 1997: Quantifying the fall in rates in women and men

E. Negri, C. La Vecchia, A. Decarli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims and background: To update data and statistics on cancer death certification in Italy to 1997. Methods: Data and statistics for 1997 subdivided into 31 cancer sites are presented. Trends in age-standardized rates for major cancer sites are plotted from 1955 to 1997. Results: The age-standardized (world standard) death certification rates from all neoplasms steadily declined from the peak of 199.2/100,000 males in 1988 to 174.7 in 1997 and for females from 102.5 to 93.0. The decline was larger in truncated rates, by about 26% for males since 1983 and by 24% for females since the top rate of the early 1960's. A major component of the favorable trend in males was lung cancer, which showed a 16% decline from the peak of 1987-88, to reach 50.6/100,000 in 1997, corresponding to about 5,000 avoided deaths. The decline in lung cancer was about 34% at age 35 to 64. For females, in contrast, both the absolute number of lung cancer deaths and the age-standardized rate of 7.9/100,000 were among the highest values ever registered, reflecting the different pattern of spread of the tobacco-related lung cancer epidemic in the two sexes. Intestinal cancer rates were stable for males but declined by approximately 10% for females, mostly in middle age, as did breast cancer mortality. Among neoplasms showing favorable trends, there were other tobacco-related neoplasms in men, plus the continuing fall in stomach and cervix uteri. Upward trends were observed for non Hodgkin's lymphomas. Conclusions: The fall in cancer mortality observed over the last decade in Italy is attributable to a decline in lung and other tobacco-related neoplasms in males, together with a persistent fall in stomach and uterine (cervical) cancer. In women, there were also recent falls in intestinal and breast cancer rates, and declines in both sexes in rarer neoplasms influenced by therapeutic advancements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-298
Number of pages9
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Epidemiology
  • Italy
  • Mortality
  • Neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Cancer mortality in Italy, 1997: Quantifying the fall in rates in women and men'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this