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Cancer is now the leading cause of death in France



According to the latest Epidemiologic Bulletin France Public Health Week (BEF), cancers are now the leading cause of death in French for people with cardiovascular disease.

Among these pathologies, a study conducted by researchers at CépiDC-Inserm during the period 2008-2016 compared to 2000-2007 shows a strong increase in lung cancer in women, the effect of smoking and more moderate in women. and both sexes for pancreatic and brain cancer.

At Crews we are treating more and more cancers

Mortality continues to decline

"These general results highlight the successes and the gaps" in prevention and care, said Gregoire Ray, director of HepDC-Inserm (which determines the medical causes of death).

Overall, the rate of deaths for all reasons has continued to decline since the 2000s, most likely as a result of advances in medicine and prevention. "The big downward trend in mortality is pretty reassuring," says Gregoire Ray.

Dying from cancer: the risk is reduced

The risk of dying of cancer decreases, even if the number of people affected increases. Cancer is the leading cause of death in France for both sexes in 2004 before cardiovascular disease.

In 2016, of the 579,000 registered deaths, tumor (29%) and cardiovascular disease (24.2%) predominated. The proportion of premature deaths (before age 65) of all causes in men remains higher than that observed in women (22.6% vs. 11.3%).

Excess mortality due to cancer in Allier

AIDS-related mortality is decreasing

HIV / AIDS-related mortality, following its first decline in the 1990s, has continued to decline in the last 16 years as a result of advances in prevention and in particular treatment. There are 300 AIDS deaths in 2016, compared to 4,800 in 1994.

Fewer suicides

Suicide deaths are also declining: nearly 8,500 deaths in 2016 against 11,400 ten years ago. However, since the 1980s, they still surpass the deaths caused by traffic accidents.

The latter, which declined from 2002-2003, went from about 8000 deaths in 2000 to 3,000 in 2016. The sharp reduction in traffic fatalities over the last 16 years can be attributed in particular to camera speeds.

Of the 26,681 deaths from accidents overall: 52.8% were male, and 75% male deaths. Casualty deaths were higher in women than in men (4,008 vs. 3,647). These deaths occurred mainly in old age (58% after 65 years)

Cardiovascular diseases are reduced

Cardiovascular deaths are fewer: mortality rates have fallen by a quarter between the two study periods. This is thanks to the development of interventional cardiology techniques (to remove clots, stents …) in stroke and the development of specialized neurovascular units for stroke management, the authors note.

For women, for whom cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death, stroke of the trumpet stroke, unlike men.

"Warning points" are the increase in lung cancer in women, as well as those in the brain and pancreas, says Gregoire Ray.

Brain cancer is on the rise

Pancreatic cancer has increased for sixteen years and sex, and brain cancer has increased during the second period, 2008-2016, in the "context of the boom in radiofrequency technology". Research is needed to explain why, according to this specialist.

In addition, melanoma mortality increases in men and remains stable in women while prevention of this skin cancer is known, the authors suggest.

Finally, the trend towards increased dementia, which has been significant since the 2000s, appears to be slowing or even changing in men, possibly as a result of a decrease in cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, smoking, diabetes, etc.). .), they argue.


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