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Trends in childhood cancer mortality in italy 1955 1978

, : Trends in childhood cancer mortality in italy 1955 1978. Tumori 71(2): 111-118

Trends in childhood cancer death rates in Italy from 1955-1978 were analyzed. All cancer age-standardized mortality below age 15 yr fell about 20%, with a clear downward trend since the early 1970's. Declines were evident for leukemias (-25%), Hodgkin's disease (-56%), non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (-27%), kidney cancer (-25%), retinoblastoma (-50%) and bone sarcomas (-31%), for a total number of about 200-250 fewer deaths per year in the late 1970's compared to the expected values using rates of the 1950's. The observed fall was apparently confined within the 1st age group considered (0-4 yr), but the age-specific patterns of trend were partly influenced by simple postponement of some deaths to older age groups. Comparisons with similar data in other developed countries suggest that, although there has undoubtedly been some progress, there is still wide scope for further reduction in childhood cancer mortality in Italy, simply through more rational use of currently available diagnostic and therapeutic knowledge.

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