We predicted cancer mortality statistics for 2021 for the European Union (EU) and its five most populous countries plus the UK. We also focused on pancreatic cancer and female lung cancer.We obtained cancer death certifications and population data from the World Health Organization and Eurostat databases for 1970-2015. We predicted numbers of deaths and age-standardized (world population) rates for 2021 for total cancers and 10 major cancer sites, using a joinpoint regression model. We calculated the number of avoided deaths over the period 1989-2021.We predicted 1,267,000 cancer deaths for 2021 in the EU, corresponding to age-standardized rates of 130.4/100,000 men (-6.6% since 2015) and 81.0 for women (-4.5%). We estimated further falls in male lung cancer rates, but still trending upward in women by +6.5%, reaching 14.5/100,000 in 2021. Breast cancer predicted rate in the EU was 13.3 (-7.8%). Rates for stomach and leukaemias in both sexes and for bladder in males are predicted to fall by over 10%; trends for other cancer sites were also favourable, except for pancreas, which showed stable patterns in both sexes, with predicted rates of 8.1/100,000 men and 5.6 for women. Rates for pancreas in EU men aged 25-49 and 50-64 declined, respectively, by 10% and 1.8%, while for those aged 65+ increased by 1.3%. Rates fell for young women only (-3.4%). Over 1989-2021, about 5 million cancer deaths were avoided in the EU27 compared with peak rates in 1988.Overall cancer mortality continues to fall in both sexes. However, specific focus is needed on pancreatic cancer, which shows some hint of decline for young men only. Tobacco control remains a priority for the prevention of pancreatic and other tobacco-related cancers, which account for a third of the total EU cancer deaths, especially in women, who showed less favourable trends.
G Carioli, M Malvezzi, P Bertuccio, P Boffetta, F Levi, C La Vecchia, E Negri