Progress in colorectal cancer survival in Europe from the late 1980s to the early 21st century: The EUROCARE study

Authors

  • Hermann Brenner,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany
    • Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research, German Cancer Research Center, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
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    • Tel: +49-6221-548140, Fax: +49-6221-548142

  • Anne Marie Bouvier,

    1. Registre Bourguignon des Cancers Digestifs, Dijon, France
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  • Roberto Foschi,

    1. Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milan, Italy
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  • Monika Hackl,

    1. Austrian National Cancer Registry, Direktion Bevölkerung, Statistik Austria, Wien, Austria
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  • Inger Kristin Larsen,

    1. Department of Clinical and Registry-Based Research, Cancer Registry of Norway, Institute of Population-Based Cancer Research, Oslo, Norway
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  • Valery Lemmens,

    1. Department of Research, Eindhoven Cancer Registry, Comprehensive Cancer Centre South, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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  • Lucia Mangone,

    1. Reggio Emilia Cancer Registry, Department of Public Health, Reggio Emilia, Italy
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  • Silvia Francisci,

    1. Cancer Epidemiology Unit, National Center for Epidemiology, Surveillance and Health Promotion, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
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  • The EUROCARE Working Group

    1. Cancer Epidemiology Unit, National Center for Epidemiology, Surveillance and Health Promotion, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
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    • Members of EUROCARE Working Group—Austria: M. Hackl, N. Zielonk (Austrian National Cancer Registry); Finland: T. Hakulinen (Finnish Cancer Registry); France: J. Faivre, A.M. Bouvier (Côte d'Or Digestive Cancer Registry); Germany: H. Brenner (German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany); B. Holleczek (Saarland Cancer Registry); Iceland: L. Tryggvadottir (Icelandic Cancer Registry); Italy: F. Berrino, C. Allemani, P. Baili, R. Ciampichini, L. Ciccolallo, G. Gatta, A. Micheli, M. Sant, S. Sowe, G. Zigon (Fondazione IRCCS; “Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori”, Milan, Italy); M. Caldora, R. Capocaccia, E. Carrani, R. De Angelis, S. Francisci, E. Grande, R. Inghelmann, H. Lenz, L. Martina, P. Roazzi, M. Santaquilani, A. Simonetti, A. Tavilla, A. Verdecchia (Istituto Superiore di Sanitá, Rome, Italy); M. Vercelli, M.A. Orengo, C. Casella, A. Quaglia (Liguria Cancer Registry, IST/Univ. Genova); M. Michiara, F. Bozzani (Parma Cancer Registry); R. Tumino, M.G. La Rosa, E. Spata, A. Sigona (Cancer Registry Azienda Ospedaliera “Civile M.P.Arezzo” Ragusa, Italy); F. Falcini, F. Foca, S. Giorgetti (Romagna Cancer Registry-I.R.S.T); R. Zanetti, S. Patriarca, S. Rosso (Torino Cancer Registry); E. Crocetti, C. Buzzoni (Tuscan Cancer Registry); Norway: F. Langmark, F. Bray, T.B. Johannesen (Cancer Registry of Norway); Poland: J. Rachtan (Cracow Cancer Registry); Slovakia: M. Ondrusova (National Cancer Registry of the Slovak Republic and Cancer Research Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences); Slovenia: M. Primic-Žakelj (Cancer Registry of Slovenia); Sweden: S. Khan, M. Talbäck (Cancer Registry of Sweden); Switzerland: G. Jundt (Basel Cancer Registry); M. Usel, C. Bouchardy (Geneva Cancer Registry); The Netherlands: J.W.W. Coebergh, M.L. Janssen-Heijnen, Louis van der Heijden (Eindhoven Cancer Registry); UK, England: D.C. Greenberg (East Anglia); N. Easey (Northern and Yorkshire Cancer Registry and Information Service); M. Roche (Oxford Cancer Intelligence Unit); G. Lawrence (West Midlands Cancer Intelligence Unit); UK, Scotland: R.J. Black, D.H. Brewster (Scottish Cancer Registry); UK, Wales: J.A. Steward (Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit).


Abstract

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cause of death due to cancer causing death in Europe, accounting for more than 200,000 deaths per year. Prognosis strongly depends on stage at diagnosis, and the disease can be cured in most cases if diagnosed at an early stage. We aimed to assess trends and recent developments in 5-year relative survival in European countries, with a special focus on age, stage at diagnosis and anatomical cancer subsite. Data from 25 population-based cancer registries from 16 European countries collected in the context of the EUROCARE-4 project were analyzed. Using period analysis, age-adjusted and age-specific 5-year relative survival was calculated by country, European region, stage and cancer subsite for time periods from 1988–1990 to 2000–2002. Survival substantially increased over time in all European regions. In general, increases were more pronounced in younger than in older patients, for earlier than for more advanced cancer stages and for rectum than for colon cancer. Substantial variation of CRC survival between European countries and between age groups persisted and even tentatively increased over time. There is a huge potential for reducing the burden of CRC in Europe by more widespread and equal delivery of existing options of effective early detection and curative treatment to the European population.

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