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Gregory J. Riely, MD, PhD


2023 Lung Cancer Mortality Predictions in Europe

By: Lauren Velentzas
Posted: Friday, May 12, 2023

Carlo La Vecchia, MD, of the University of Milan, Italy, and colleagues have predicted that rates for deaths attributable to lung cancer will continue to fall overall in the five most populous European Union countries—France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain—and the United Kingdom. They estimated decreases in cancer death rates of 6.5% for men and 3.7% for women between 2018 and 2023.

“If the current trajectory of declining cancer death rates continues, then it is possible there could be a further 35% reduction by 2035,” proposed Dr. La Vecchia in a European Society for Medical Oncology press release.

The study focused on cancer death certification and population data from the World Health Organization and Eurostat databases from 1970 to 2018 for France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom to predict the number of deaths and age-standardized rates (ASRs) for 2023 for all cancers combined, as well as the 10 most common cancer sites. For lung cancer, they predicted there would be 83,553 female deaths from lung cancer and 159,057 male deaths, with ASRs of 13.63 and 29.76, respectively. For men, this would translate to a 10.24% decrease in lung cancer deaths; however, it would mark a 1.15% increase for women.

The study authors stated: “The focus on lung cancer showed falls in mortality for all age groups in men. Female lung cancer mortality declined in the young (35.8%, ASR = 0.8/100,000) and middle-aged (7%, ASR = 31.2/100,000) but still increased by 10% in the elderly [aged 65 and older].”

The study authors concluded there may be several reasons for these decreases in cancer mortality. To begin, there are greater advances in tobacco control, and increased efforts on tobacco restriction may achieve further reductions by 2035. Other possible factors include control of overweight and obesity; alcohol consumption; infection and related neoplasms; and improvements in screening, early diagnosis, and treatments.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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