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Cancers for over 20% of Europeans, +41% in 10 years – Medicine

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Cancers for over 20% of Europeans, +41% in 10 years – Medicine

Direct Experience of Cancer Affects More Than 23 Million People in Europe

A new study published in the journal Lancet Oncology has revealed that the direct experience of cancer affects more than one person in 20 in Europe. The study, coordinated by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità and the IRCCS Foundation Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori of Milan, estimated that 23.7 million people in Europe have been diagnosed with cancer, with the figure increasing by 3.5% per year.

The increase in the number of cancer cases is attributed to the increasingly elderly population, with the figure rising by 41% in total between 2010 and 2020. The prevalence of cancer in 2020 was estimated by analyzing data from 61 cancer registries of 29 countries participating in the EUROCARE-6 research program. The analysis covered more than 19 million cancer cases and 32 tumor types.

The study found that 43% of women with direct experience of cancer had been diagnosed with breast cancer, while 37% of men had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Colorectal cancer was the second most common diagnosis in both sexes.

Furthermore, the study highlighted the variability in the proportion of cancer cases among the 29 countries examined, with the highest values found in Germany, Italy, Belgium, and France, and the lowest in Bulgaria, Poland, and Slovakia.

Despite the high number of cancer cases, the study also revealed that 38% of all cases in Europe in 2020 survived more than 10 years after diagnosis, indicating that a significant proportion of the population is or has been affected by the experience of cancer.

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The authors of the study emphasized the need to strengthen primary prevention and early diagnosis, stating that prevention remains the way forward to reduce the number of cases and improve the chances of recovery. The results of the study confirm the urgent need to address the increasing burden of cancer and the high cost of innovative therapies.

As World Cancer Day approaches on Sunday, February 4th, the study’s findings serve as a stark reminder of the impact of cancer on millions of lives across Europe. It also underscores the importance of prioritizing cancer prevention and early detection in order to improve the quality of life for those affected by the disease.

The study’s results are a call to action for the implementation of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan 2021-2027 (EBCP) to address the growing oncological burden and ensure the sustainability of health and social care systems in the region.

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