European cancer mortality predictions for the year 2023 with focus on lung cancer

M. Malvezzi, C. Santucci, P. Boffetta, G. Collatuzzo, F. Levi, C. La Vecchia, E. Negri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: We predicted cancer mortality figures for 2023 for the European Union (EU-27), its five most populous countries, and the UK. We also focused on mortality from lung cancer. Materials and methods: Using cancer death certification and population data from the World Health Organization and Eurostat databases for 1970-2018, we predicted numbers of deaths and age-standardized rates (ASRs) for 2023 for all cancers combined and the 10 most common cancer sites. We investigated the changes in trends over the observed period. The number of avoided deaths over the period 1989-2023 were estimated for all cancers as well as lung cancer. Results: We predicted 1 261 990 cancer deaths for 2023 in the EU-27, corresponding to ASRs of 123.8/100 000 men (−6.5% versus 2018) and 79.3 for women (−3.7%). Over 1989-2023, ∼5 862 600 cancer deaths were avoided in the EU-27 compared with peak rates in 1988. Most cancers displayed favorable predicted rates, with the exceptions of pancreatic cancer, which was stable in EU men (8.2/100 000) and rose by 3.4% in EU women (5.9/100 000), and female lung cancer, which, however, tends to level off (13.6/100 000). Steady declines are predicted for colorectal, breast, prostate, leukemia, stomach in both sexes, and male bladder cancers. The focus on lung cancer showed falls in mortality for all age groups in men. Female lung cancer mortality declined in the young (−35.8%, ASR: 0.8/100 000) and middle-aged (−7%, ASR: 31.2/100 000) but still increased by 10% in the elderly (age 65+ years). Conclusions: The advancements in tobacco control are reflected in favorable lung cancer trends, and should be pushed further. Greater efforts on the control of overweight and obesity, alcohol consumption, infection and related neoplasms, together with improvements in screening, early diagnosis, and treatments may achieve a further 35% reduction in cancer mortality in the EU by 2035.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-419
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • Europe
  • cancer
  • lung cancer
  • mortality rates
  • prediction model


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