European cancer mortality predictions for the year 2015: Does lung cancer have the highest death rate in EU women?

M. Malvezzi, P. Bertuccio, T. Rosso, M. Rota, F. Levi, C. La Vecchia, E. Negri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cancer mortality statistics for 2015 were projected from the most recent available data for the European Union (EU) and its six more populous countries. Prostate cancer was analysed in detail. Patients and methods: Population and death certification data from stomach, colorectum, pancreas, lung, breast, uterus, prostate, leukaemias and total cancers were obtained from the World Health Organisation database and Eurostat. Figures were derived for the EU, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK. Projected 2015 numbers of deaths by age group were obtained by linear regression on estimated numbers of deaths over the most recent time period identified by a joinpoint regression model. Results: A total of 1 359 100 cancer deaths are predicted in the EU in 2015 (766 200 men and 592 900 women), corresponding to standardised death rates of 138.4/100 000 men and 83.9/100 000 women, falling 7.5% and 6%, respectively, since 2009. In men, predicted rates for the three major cancers (lung, colorectum and prostate) are lower than in 2009, falling 9%, 5% and 12%. Prostate cancer showed predicted falls of 14%, 17% and 9% in the 35-64, 65-74 and 75+ age groups. In women, breast and colorectal cancers had favourable trends (-10% and -8%), but predicted lung cancer rates rise 9% to 14.24/100 000 becoming the cancer with the highest rate, reaching and possibly overtaking breast cancer rates-though the total number of deaths remain higher for breast (90 800) than lung (87 500). Pancreatic cancer has a negative outlook in both sexes, rising 4% in men and 5% in women between 2009 and 2015. Conclusions: Cancer mortality predictions for 2015 confirm the overall favourable cancer mortality trend in the EU, translating to an overall 26% fall in men since its peak in 1988, and 21% in women, and the avoidance of over 325 000 deaths in 2015 compared with the peak rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-786
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Cancer
  • Europe
  • Mortality
  • Projections
  • Prostate cancer
  • Time trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology
  • Medicine(all)


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