Strong rise in cancer among young Europeans since 30

The incidence of cancer has increased sharply since 30 years in young Europeans. The growth rate is 1% per year for children and 1,5% for adolescents. The study of the International Center for Research on Cancer (Lyon) that has just published "The Lancet" has exploited data from 63 pediatric registers in 19 European countries from 1970 to 2001. Let 113.000 be a case of tumors in children and 18.243 in adolescents. During this period, the cure rate increased sharply: in the 70 years, less than one in two children was alive after five years; the proportion is now three out of four children. Environmental factors may be involved, but other complementary explanations are sometimes put forward. The authors of the study are careful not to settle the question of the causes of this evolution. The Chernobyl disaster may account for much of the increase in cancer in Eastern Europe, but it is not enough in itself to understand this development. To read the study on the site of "Lancet" (in English, free registration required), click here.

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Antoine Blouet


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