Cancer facts & figures

In Italy, every day, about 1,000 fall ill with cancer.

That figure has fallen a bit since 2014, with an estimated 363,000 cases for the year. Mostly because the population is aging, however, the number of Italians with a diagnosis of cancer (recent or distant) keeps growing: from 2,600,000 in 2010 to an estimated three million in 2015. Of these three million individuals, one out of four can be considered “cured” because he or she again has the same life expectancy as the general population, i.e. as someone never diagnosed with cancer.

For many years now, deaths from cancer have been falling steadily in both men and women.

The reduced mortality is explained by primary and secondary prevention and by more effective diagnosis and treatment methods, which have all helped improve survival rates. Prevention, for example, is responsible for the substantial drop in the rate of smoking-related tumors (upper airway and digestive tract, lung and bladder) in men.


new cancer diagnoses in Italy, 2016

Children from birth to age 19 are dying less and less from cancer: today, the number of deaths is about a third of what it was in the early 1970s.

The five-year survival rate has improved considerably compared with cases diagnosed in earlier five-year periods, for both men (57%) and women (63%). This reflects better survival rates for some of the most common cancer types: colorectal (64% for men and 63% for women), breast (87%) and prostate (91%).


persone che, nel 2016, vivono con una precedente diagnosi di cancro

The data collected by the Italian Cancer Registry highlight the social impact of this disease and the importance of research to help patients—those who are fighting the disease now and those who will be diagnosed in the future.