Trends in Cancer Incidence and Mortality

IARC Scientific Publication No. 121

Authors: Coleman MP, Estève J, Damiecki P, Arslan A, Renard H


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Data on cancer incidence from population-based cancer registries around the world have been published first by UICC and later by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in six successive volumes of Cancer Incidence in Five Continents. These data have already provided a wealth of information on geographical variation in cancer risk by personal characteristics such as age, sex and racial or ethnic group. Time, the third element in the classic triad of epidemiological descriptors - person, place and time - is the central interest of this book, in which these data sets are used to provide the first comprehensive analysis of changes in cancer incidence and mortality around the world over the past 30 years. The analyses cover 60 populations in 29 countries for cancer incidence and 36 national data sets for cancer mortality, covering 42 countries in all. Information is presented on time trends by year of diagnosis or death and by year of birth, for each of 25 major cancers in adults and for leukaemia and all cancer in children. Special algorithms were developed to ensure that the 4000 and more data sets were each analysed according to explicit and standard criteria, and these are fully described. A particular effort has been made to present the many tables and graphics containing the results of the analyses as clearly as possible, in order to simplify their interpretation.