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On the occasion of 10 Years Belgian Cancer Registry, the Belgian Cancer Registry organised an Academic Session on Thursday December 10th.
In 2025, the risk of being affected by cancer will be almost as high in women as in men.
In 2013, we registered 65,847 new cancer diagnoses, 34,542 in men (53%) and 30,945 in women (47%).
The Belgian Cancer Registry estimates that in 2025, there will be 12,000 more new diagnoses than in 2013. As a consequence, an estimated total of 78,000 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2025.
This increase of cancers in men will mainly be due to the aging and growth of the population. In women, the increase in smoking behavior is expected to result in an additional rise in cancer incidence.
It is indeed expected that women will continue to close the gap with men, especially concerning the development of tobacco-related tumors (lung, head and neck tumors). For men the risk of these cancers as well as prostate cancer will continue to decrease.
As for mortality, there is some good news: the risk of dying from cancer decreases year after year. In men (-1.6% per year), this probability is declining 3 times faster than in women (-0.5% per year).
People with cancer survive longer : the chances to survive a cancer diagnosis have improved in the past years. When comparing the periods 1999-2003 and 2009-2013 for Flanders*, we observe an increase of the 5-year survival rate of 5% for men and 3% for women.
These good results are due to better diagnostic technologies such as more sensitive medical imaging techniques and to organized and dedicated population screening programs, reinforcing early diagnoses. The progression made for different treatment modalities has also added in the improvement of prognosis for cancer: less invasive surgical techniques, optimized radiotherapy treatments, new chemotherapy agents,... Moreover, the gained knowledge of tumor characteristics enables more specific and personalized treatments.
Prevalence : We estimate that 3% of the Belgian population, still alive on the 31st of December 2013, has been diagnosed with cancer in the last 10 years (2004-2013).
Getting insights in these epidemiological parameters can highly contribute to an optimization of the Belgian healthcare system. Indeed, such information facilitates an estimation of the needs for the diagnosis, treatment and follow up of cancer. Additionally, these numbers enforce an evaluation of healthcare quality.
On the occasion of its 10 years anniversary, the Belgian Cancer Registry has collected all epidemiological descriptors in the publication 'Cancer Burden in Belgium'. All data on cancer incidence, evolution, prevalence, mortality and survival in Belgium for the period 2004-2013 are presented. Furthermore, for the first time, the predictions for the year 2025 are made available.
*Data for 1999-2003 is only available for Flanders due to an older history of cancer registry for this region.
The presentations of the Academic Session 10 Years Belgian Cancer Registry are available here.
On the occasion of its 10 years of existence the Belgian Cancer Registry proudly presents its new publication: "Cancer Burden in Belgium".