Trends in childhood cancer mortality in Italy, 1955-78

C. La Vecchia, A. Decarli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trends in childhood cancer death rates in Italy from 1955 to 1978 were analyzed. All cancer age-standardized mortality below age 15 fell about 20%, with a clear downward trend since the early 1970's. Declines were evident for leukemias (-25%), Hodgkin's disease (-56%), non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (-27%), kidney cancer (-25%), retinoblastoma (-50%), and bone sarcomas (-31%), for a total number of about 200-250 fewer deaths per year in the late 1970's compared to the expected values using rates of the 1950's. The observed fall was apparently confined within the first age group considered (0-4 years), but the age-specific patterns of trend were partly influenced by simple postponement of some deaths to older age groups. Comparisons with similar data in other developed countries suggest that, although there has undoubtedly been some progress, there is still wide scope for further reduction in childhood cancer mortality in Italy, simply through more rational use of currently available diagnostic and therapeutic knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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