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. The World
Use our interactive tool to explore the data by world region and individual country. For each region or country, numbers of cases and World
Interactive Map of Cancer Incidence, World, 2012 Estimates
Cancer incidence and mortality statistics should be interpreted bearing in mind population size and age. Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is excluded. Kaposi sarcoma (C46) is included for Sub-Saharan Africa only.
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). 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).
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). Out of 193 countries worldwide, the UK has the 37th highest cancer incidence rate for males and the 14th highest for females (2012).
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). 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).
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.
Caution should be taken when interpreting cancer incidence by HDI values because differences may reflect differences in data quality.
Cancer incidence in the UK compared to Europe
Cancer incidence in the UK compared to worldwide
- 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.
- United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2013). UN World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision. Accessed November 2013.