Objectives: Time trends in the incidence of pancreatic cancer vary considerably between countries. The aim of this study was to provide time trends in incidence during a 25-year period in a well-defined French population.
Methods: The cancer registry in Burgundy (France) was used to study time trends between 1981 and 2005 by sex, age, subsite, and histology. They were analyzed using an age-period cohort model.
Results: Age-standardized incidence rates increased from 5.7 (1981-1985) to 7.9 per 100,000 (2001-2005) in men and from 2.6 to 4.6 in women. The mean percentage of variation by the 5-year period was +9.9% (P < 0.001, 95% confidence interval, 6.2%-13.6%) and +13.4% (P = 0.004, 95% confidence interval, 9.4%-17.5%), respectively. The increase in incidence was higher for cancers of the tail and corpus than for cancers of the head of pancreas and for malignant pancreatic endocrine tumors than for adenocarcinomas. The cumulative risk of developing a pancreatic cancer rose from 0.51% for men born in 1900 to 1.13% for those born in 1950. It was 0.34% and 0.55% for women, respectively.
Conclusions: The incidence of pancreatic cancer has increased sharply in France both by period and by birth cohort. Etiological studies are required to explain the increase in the incidence.