cancer mortality

6 Nov

According to the INVS, mortality from cancer has diminished since 1990. I notice that this was the case especially for the two localizations that have benefited from screening: prostate cancer for men with the generalized use of PSA in individual screening and breast cancer for women with the generalization of organized screening with mammogram. These cancer mortality statistics published by the well-known French epidemiologist Catherine Hill are very encouraging with regard of public health.  They must contribute to the recent debate on whether screening for prostate and breast cancer is justified. In my opinion people who are not in favor of such screening should look closely to the figures that Catherine Hill reports.

You can get access to the full text report on mortality from cancer here:

Catherine Hill Report

Hill C, Doyon F, Mousannif A. Évolution de la mortalité par cancer en France de 1950 à 2006. Saint-Maurice (Fra) : Institut de veille sanitaire, mai 2009, 272 p. available on:


2 Responses to “cancer mortality”

  1. docteurdu16 November 6, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    These data are well known.
    I would like to emphasize the fact that Catherine Hill strongly disagrees with PSA screening as you can see here: You cannot involve her in your enthusiastic comments in favor of large screening. When you consider all the data you can see that in a majority of cases mortality has declined in the nineties.
    I am also very dubious about the data and INVS seriousness as well: death certificates are not very relevant in France as H1N1 reports proved it.
    Furthermore you cannot comment these data regarding mortality without quoting the harms of depistage.
    We have to reconsider the way Public Health is managed in France in the no debate consensus.
    Best regards.

    • Ha-Vinh November 6, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

      Thanks for your comment. You’re absolutely right, the parallel between the lowering of cancer mortality rates upon the time and the enlargement of screening is my own initiative and must not be credited to Catherine Hill. I will correct my post consequently. Beside, the slides by C Hill you indicated are very relevant and clarify pretty well her theory of non efficiency of a population wide organized prostate cancer screening. On that point I agree with her. But in an other hand I think that the PSA should be consider and should stay as an early diagnosis tool to be discussed between the care provider and his patient at the initiative of the latest such leaving the freedom of an enlightened choice still possible.
      Sincerely yours

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