Cancer incidence in Italian contaminated sites



Introduction. The incidence of cancer among residents in sites contaminated by pollutants with a possible health impact is not adequately studied. In Italy, SENTIERI Project  (Epidemiological study of residents in National Priority Contaminated Sites, NPCSs)  was implemented to study major health outcomes for residents in 44 NPCSs.
Methods. The Italian Association of Cancer Registries (AIRTUM) records cancer incidence in 23 NPCSs. For each NPCSs, the incidence of all malignant cancers combined  and 35 cancer sites (coded according to ICD-10), was analysed (1996-2005). The observed cases were compared to the expected based on age (5-year period,18 classes),  gender, calendar period (1996-2000; 2001-2005), geographical area (North-Centre and  Centre-South) and cancer sites specific rates. Standardized Incidence Ratios (SIR) with  90% Confidence Intervals were computed.
Results. In both genders an excess was observed for overall cancer incidence (9% in men  and 7% in women) as well as for specific cancer sites (colon and rectum, liver, gallbladder,  pancreas,  lung,  skin  melanoma,  bladder  and  Non  Hodgkin  lymphoma).  Deficits  were  observed  for  gastric  cancer  in  both  genders,  chronic  lymphoid  leukemia  (men),  malignant thyroid neoplasms, corpus uteri and connective and soft-tissue tumours and  sarcomas (women).
Discussion. This report is, to our knowledge, the first one on cancer risk of residents in  NPCSs. The study, although not aiming to estimate the cancer burden attributable to  the environment as compared to occupation or life-style, supports the credibility of an  etiologic role of environmental exposures in contaminated sites. Ongoing analyses focus  on the interpretation of risk factors for excesses of specific cancer types overall and in  specific NPCSs in relation to the presence of carcinogenic pollutants.

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Pietro Comba

Paolo Ricci

Ivano Iavarone

Roberta Pirastu

Carlotta Buzzoni

Mario Fusco

Stefano Ferretti

Lucia Fazzo

Roberto Pasetto

Amerigo Zona

Emanuele Crocetti

for ISS-AIRTUM Working Group for the study of cancer incidence in contamined sites

How to Cite
Comba, P., Ricci, P., Iavarone, I., Pirastu, R., Buzzoni, C., Fusco, M., … for the study of cancer incidence in contamined sites, for I.-A. W. G. (2014). Cancer incidence in Italian contaminated sites. Annali dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, 50(2), 186–191. Retrieved from
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