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Introduction and methods

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The first Milan Cancer Report was published by this Local Health Authority (ASL) in 2007. It was the first time in Italy that such a large amount of data – accompanied by structured and timely comments – had been made available on the frequency and main characteristics of tumours in a large metropolitan reality that is particularly complex in terms of demographic composition, environmental characteristics, social structures, economic development and much more. On that occasion, our aim was to find a way of representing information and, mainly, of communication that would meet the needs of different readers: competent citizens in the first place, but also health programmers, researchers and media workers. The solutions adopted proved to be effective; the first Report was widely distributed in all target areas and, wrinkled and full of notes, lay on the desks of many journalists, administrators, doctors and representatives of civil society in Milan.

With this Second Milan Cancer Report, in addition to confirming our commitment to a language that is intelligible to many, we have also taken into account the increasingly widespread need among readers to have direct access to data for transferring them to their PCs or tablets to submit them to confirmatory or additional analysis, or to use them for documentation purposes (lectures, reports, communications, etc.). Therefore, while producing only a limited number of printed copies, we have posted the Second Report in a web environment (http://rapportisalute.asl.milano.it/) that allows us to upload updated data, even partially, when these become available, and gives readers the possibility of downloading data of interest on a spreadsheet or in a format suitable for presentations.

We want to bring health care in Milan increasingly closer to who are interested in it as users, as operators or as communicators. We are starting with this Second Milan Cancer Report, but we aim to create an electronic platform soon that will carry the Reports on all areas that are of interest to and responsibility of the Milan ASL.

Walter G. Locatelli
General Manager
Milan ASL