Reliable data on the magnitude of the cancer problem are essential for monitoring the health of the community and the performance of the health-care system, and allow health authorities to make informed decisions regarding the most effective investment of resources. For three decades, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has been gathering and disseminating to scientists and decision-makers information on cancer incidence and mortality in populations covered by cancer registration systems across the world. The EUROCARE project complements these data, by analysing systematically the survival of cancer patients, on the basis of information provided by European cancer registries. The EUROCARE-2 study, the results of which are presented in this volume, analyses data on patients diagnosed during the late 1980s. It involved the collaboration of 50 oncological or public health institutions in 17 European countries.