Worldwide cancer incidence statistics

Cancer is a leading cause of disease worldwide. In 2012, there were an estimated 14.1 million new cases of cancer in the world: 7.4 million (53%) in males and 6.7 million (47%) in females, giving a male:female ratio of 10:9.[1] The World age-standardised (AS) incidence rate Open a glossary item shows that there are 205 new cancer cases for every 100,000 men in the world, and 165 for every 100,000 females.[1]

Use our interactive tool to explore the data by world region and individual country. For each region or country, numbers of cases and World age-standardised AS Open a glossary item incidence rates are given for all cancers combined and the most common cancers in that area.

Interactive Map of Cancer Incidence, World, 2012 Estimates

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Cancer incidence and mortality statistics should be interpreted bearing in mind population size and age.[2] Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is excluded. Kaposi sarcoma (C46) is included for Sub-Saharan Africa only.[1]

The World AS incidence rates in males vary more than four-fold across the different world regions, ranging from 79 per 100,000 in Western Africa to 365 per 100,000 in Australia/New Zealand (2012).[1] In females, rates vary around three-fold, ranging from 103 per 100,000 in South-Central Asia to 295 per 100,000 in Northern America (2012).[1]

France has the highest cancer incidence in males (385 per 100,000), while Denmark has the highest rates in females (328 per 100,000) (2012).[1] Out of 193 countries worldwide, the UK has the 37th highest cancer incidence rate for males and the 14th highest for females (2012).[1]

Incidence rates also vary by Human Development Index (HDI) values. In males, incidence rates vary around three-fold between very high HDI countries (316 cases per 100,000) and low HDI countries (103 cases per 100,000) (2012).[1] In females, rates vary around two-fold between very high HDI countries (253 cases per 100,000) compared to low HDI countries (123 cases per 100,000) (2012).[1]

Despite the lower rates, their large population size means that the Less Developed Regions (LDRs) carry a substantial burden of cancer, accounting for over half (57%) of the world’s cancer cases.[1]

Caution should be taken when interpreting cancer incidence by HDI values because differences may reflect differences in data quality.

References

  1. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr, accessed December 2013.
  2. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2013). UN World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision. Accessed November 2013.
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The most common four types of cancer worldwide - lung, female breast, bowel (including anus) and prostate - account for more than four in ten (42%) of all new cases.[1]

The 10 Most Commonly Diagnosed Cancers, World, 2012 Estimates

Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is excluded.

An estimated 7.4 million males were diagnosed with cancer worldwide in 2012. Lung cancer was the most common, accounting for almost a fifth (17%) of all cases diagnosed. Prostate cancer was the second most common cancer diagnosed in males worldwide (15%). Bowel, stomach and liver cancers are the remaining of the five most common cancers in males in the world, accounting for 10%, 9% and 7% of the male total, respectively.[1]

An estimated 6.7 million females were diagnosed with cancer worldwide in 2012. Breast cancer was the most common, accounting for a quarter (25%) of all cases diagnosed. Bowel cancer was as the second most common cancer diagnosed in females worldwide (9%). Lung, cervical and stomach cancers are the remaining of the five most common cancers in females worldwide, accounting for 9%, 8% and 5% of the female total, respectively.[1]

References

  1. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr, accessed December 2013.
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The most common cancers diagnosed worldwide have changed little over the last 40 years.[1-7] Lung, breast and bowel (including anus), stomach and prostate cancers have been amongst the most common since 1975, though stomach accounted for a lesser amount of the total and lung has accounted for a greater amount of the total, probably because of changes in the worldwide prevalence of risk factors including h pylori infection and tobacco smoking. Prostate cancer has also accounted for a greater amount of the total over time, probably partly due to increased use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing Open a glossary item.

Caution should be taken when interpreting trends over time for cancers worldwide because changes probably also reflect changes in data recording.

References

  1. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr, accessed December 2013.
  2. Parkin DM, Stjernsward J, Muir CS. Estimates of the worldwide frequency of twelve major cancers. Bull World Health Organ. 1984;62(2):163-82.
  3. Parkin DM, Laara E, Muir CS. Estimates of the worldwide frequency of sixteen major cancers in 1980. Int J Cancer. 1988 Feb 15;41(2):184-97.
  4. Parkin DM, Pisani P, Ferlay J. Estimates of the worldwide incidence of eighteen major cancers in 1985. Int J Cancer. 1993 Jun 19;54(4):594-606.
  5. Parkin DM, Pisani P, Ferlay J. Estimates of the worldwide incidence of 25 major cancers in 1990. Int J Cancer. 1999 Mar 15;80(6):827-41.
  6. Parkin DM, Bray F, Ferlay J, et al. Estimating the World Cancer Burden: GLOBOCAN 2000. Int J Cancer. 2001 Oct 15;94(2):153-156.
  7. Ferlay J, Shin HR, Bray F, et al. GLOBOCAN 2008 v1.2, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 10 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2010. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr.
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Worldwide, it is estimated that there were 32.5 million men and women still alive in 2012, up to five years after their diagnosis. Most of these had been diagnosed with breast (females only), bowel (including anus), or prostate cancer.[1]

References

  1. Ferlay J, Bray F, Ren JS, et al. Estimates of global cancer prevalence for 27 sites in the adult population in 2008. Int J Cancer. 2013 Mar 1;132(5):1133-45. doi: 10.1002/ijc.27711. Epub 2012 Jul 26.
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Worldwide, it is estimated that there were around 170 million years of healthy life lost globally because of cancer in 2008. Bowel (including anus), lung, female breast and prostate cancers were the main contributors to that loss.[1]

References

  1. Soerjomataram I, Lortet-Tieulent J, Parkin DM, et al. Global burden of cancer in 2008: a systematic analysis of disability-adjusted life-years in 12 world regions. Lancet 2012; 380:1840–1850.
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It is predicted there will be 23.6 million new cancer cases worldwide each year by 2030, if recent trends in incidence of major cancers and population growth are seen globally in the future. This is 68% more cases than in 2012, with slightly larger growth in low and medium human development index (HDI) countries (66% more cases in 2030 than 2012) than in high and very high HDI countries (56% more cases in 2030 than 2012).[1,2]

References

  1. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr, accessed December 2013.
  2. Bray F, Jemal A, Grey N, et al. Global cancer transitions according to the Human Development Index (2008-2030): a population-based study. Lancet Oncol 2012; 13:790-801.
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The UK incidence rate for all cancers combined (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) in males is lower (9%) than those in the European Union (284 and 311 per 100,000, respectively), but the rate is higher (11%) in females in the UK than those in the EU (267 and 241 per 100,000, respectively).[1]

References

  1. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr accessed August 2015.
 
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The incidence rate for all cancers combined (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) for males in the UK is lower (8%) than in the more developed regions (MDRs) of the world (284 and 307 per 100,000, respectively), but is higher (11%) for females in the UK than in the MDRs (267 and 240 per 100,000, respectively).[1]

The incidence rates for all cancers combined (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) for both sexes in the UK are higher (74% in males and 97% in females) than the less developed regions (LDRs) of the world (163 and 136 per 100,000 for males and females, respectively).[1]

The four most common types of cancer worldwide are also the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK.[1]

References

  1. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr accessed August 2015.
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Local Cancer Statistics

Find and compare local statistics and information in the UK by healthboard, Local Authority or postcode.

Cancer Statistics Explained

See information and explanations on terminology used for statistics and reporting of cancer, and the methods used to calculate some of our statistics.

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