Guzzinati S., Virdone S., De Angelis R., Panato C., Buzzoni C., Capocaccia R., Francisci S., Gigli A., Zorzi M., Tagliabue G., Serraino D., Falcini F., Casella C., Russo A.G., Stracci F., Caruso B., Michiara M., Caiazzo A.L., Castaing M., Ferretti S., Mangone L., Rudisi G., Sensi F., Mazzoleni G., Pannozzo F., Tumino R., Fusco M., Ricci P., Gola G., Giacomin A., Tisano F., Candela G., Fanetti A.C., Pala F., Sutera Sardo A., Rugge M., Botta L., Dal Maso L.

BMC Cancer 201818:169 doi: org/10.1186/s12885-018-4053-y



Estimates of cancer prevalence are widely based on limited duration, often including patients living after a cancer diagnosis made in the previous 5 years and less frequently on complete prevalence (i.e., including all patients regardless of the time elapsed since diagnosis). This study aims to provide estimates of complete cancer prevalence in Italy by sex, age, and time since diagnosis for all cancers combined, and for selected cancer types. Projections were made up to 2020, overall and by time since diagnosis.

Data were from 27 Italian population-based cancer registries, covering 32% of the Italian population, able to provide at least 7 years of registration as of December 2009 and follow-up of vital status as of December 2013. The data were used to compute the limited-duration prevalence, in order to estimate the complete prevalence by means of the COMPREV software.

In 2010, 2,637,975 persons were estimated to live in Italy after a cancer diagnosis, 1.2 million men and 1.4 million women, or 4.6% of the Italian population. A quarter of male prevalent cases had prostate cancer (n = 305,044), while 42% of prevalent women had breast cancer (n = 604,841). More than 1.5 million people (2.7% of Italians) were alive since 5 or more years after diagnosis and 20% since ≥15 years. It is projected that, in 2020 in Italy, there will be 3.6 million prevalent cancer cases (+ 37% vs 2010). The largest 10-year increases are foreseen for prostate (+ 85%) and for thyroid cancers (+ 79%), and for long-term survivors diagnosed since 20 or more years (+ 45%). Among the population aged ≥75 years, 22% will have had a previous cancer diagnosis.

The number of persons living after a cancer diagnosis is estimated to rise of approximately 3% per year in Italy. The availability of detailed estimates and projections of the complete prevalence are intended to help the implementation of guidelines aimed to enhance the long-term follow-up of cancer survivors and to contribute their rehabilitation needs.