The following article features coverage from the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor’s conference coverage.

Cancer cases are projected to increase 21.4% by 2040 in the European Union and European Free Trade Association countries.

This and other projections were presented during a press conference in advance of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021 by Manola Bettio, MD, of the European Commission-Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy.

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Dr Bettio and colleagues predicted the number of new cancer diagnoses and deaths based on 2020 incidence and mortality rates and the predicted populations released by Eurostat.  

The estimate of 2.8 million new cancer diagnoses for 2020 was projected to increase by 21.4% to 3.4 million by 2040.

However, the projected changes in cancer incidence varied widely across cancer types. The researchers projected a 5.2% decrease in testicular cancer cases and a 35.2% increase in mesothelioma cases among men.

The researchers also projected an increase in cancer deaths, from the 2020 estimate of 1.3 million to 1.7 million by 2040.

“The results that we obtained enabled us to compare countries to help highlight differences and focus in on specific actions to help mitigate and reduce the burden of cancer,” Dr Bettio said.

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor’s coverage of ESMO 2021 by visiting the conference page.


Dyba TA, Randi G, Martos C, et al. Long-term estimates of cancer incidence and mortality for the EU and EFTA countries according to different demographic scenarios. Presented at: European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021; September 16-21, 2021. Abstract 1501O_PR.