This is a population-based study aimed at evaluating incidence and mortality trends for prostate cancer in France, Italy and Spain, during the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) era, considering elderly people aged 70 years and over and younger adults aged between 40 and 69 years. Trends were estimated by a log-linear Poisson regression model and expressed as an Estimated Annual Percent Change (EAPC). Incidence increased sharply in almost all areas. Spain showed the lowest increases. Incidence started to rise around 1985 in France and after 1990 in Italy and Spain. Mortality increased until the late 1980s in all countries, then declined in France and Italy (-2.5% in 40-69 year age group), but not in Spain. Younger people showed a much higher rise in incidence than the elderly, while mortality decreased mainly in the younger adults. The decrease in mortality was more marked in those areas and the younger age group where the rise in incidence was higher and started earlier, i.e. in France and in younger people, suggesting that the PSA test may have had a positive effect on mortality, although other clinical advances also have to be taken into account.

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European Journal of Cancer
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Quaglia, A., Parodi, S., Grosclaude, P., Martinez-Garcia, C., Coebergh, J. W., & Vercelli, M. (2003). Differences in the epidemic rise and decrease of prostate cancer among geographical areas in Southern Europe: An analysis of differential trends in incidence and mortality in France, Italy and Spain. European Journal of Cancer, 39(5), 654–665. doi:10.1016/S0959-8049(02)00872-9