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Bulletin du Cancer

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The frequency of cancer in France: mortality trends since 1950 and summary of the report on the causes of cancer Volume 95, issue 1, janvier 2008

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Institut Gustave Roussy et Inserm U605, rue Camille-Desmoulins, 94807 Villejuif Cedex

In 2005, a total number of 149 000 cancer deaths were observed in France, 89 000 in the male population and 60 000 in the female population. Age-standardised mortality rates are decreasing for most cancer sites, at least in recent years, the main exception being lung cancer in the female population which has become the second cause of cancer deaths after breast cancer. The report on the attributable causes of cancer in France from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the French Science and Medical Academies and the Fédération Nationale des Centres de Lutte Contre le Cancer shows the importance of tobacco alcohol and infections. They are the most important causes of cancer in France, leading respectively to 24 %, 7 % and 4 % of cancer deaths. Cancer prevention is possible as demonstrated by the decrease in tobacco and alcohol consumption in the male population leading to a reduction in the risk of cancer.