Worldwide cancer mortality statistics

In 2012, there were an estimated 8.2 million deaths from cancer in the world: 4.7 million (57%) in males and 3.5 million (43%) in females, giving a male:female ratio of 10:8.[1] The World age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item mortality rate shows that there are 126 cancer deaths for every 100,000 men in the world, and 83 for every 100,000 females.

Use our interactive tool to explore the data by world region and individual country. For each region or country, numbers of deaths and World AS rates are given for all cancers combined and the most common cause of cancer death in that area.

Interactive Map of Cancer Mortality, 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.

The World AS mortality rates in males vary more than two-fold across the different world regions, ranging from 173 per 100,000 in Central and Eastern Europe to 68 per 100,000 in Western Africa (2012).[1] In females, rates vary more than three-fold, ranging from 119 per 100,000 in Melanesia to 65 per 100,000 in South-Central Asia (2012).

Armenia has the highest cancer mortality rate in males (210 per 100,000), while Zimbabwe has the highest rate in females (146 per 100,000) (2012).[1] Out of 84 countries worldwide, the UK has the 56th highest cancer mortality rate for males and 36th highest for females (2012).

Mortality rates also vary by Human Development Index (HDI) value. In males, mortality rates are 51% higher in very high HDI countries (132 cases per 100,000) compared to low HDI countries (low/medium HDI) (87 cases per 100,000) (2012).[1] In females, rates vary only slightly between very high HDI countries (85 cases per 100,000) and low HDI countries (87 cases per 100,000) (2012).

Caution should be taken when interpreting cancer mortality 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 causes of cancer death worldwide - lung, liver, stomach, and bowel - account for nearly half (46%) of all cancer deaths.[1]

The 10 Most Common Causes of Cancer Death, World, 2012 Estimates

Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is excluded.

An estimated 4.7 million males died from cancer worldwide in 2012. Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death, accounting for around a quarter (24%) of cancer deaths in males. Liver, stomach, bowel and prostate cancers are the remaining four of the five most common causes of cancer death in males worldwide, accounting for 11%, 10%, 8% and 7% of the male total, respectively.[1]

An estimated 3.5 million females died from cancer worldwide in 2012. Breast cancers is the most common cause of cancer death cancer, accounting for 3 in 20 (15%) of cancer deaths in females. Lung, bowel, cervical and stomach cancers are the remaining four of the five most common causes of cancer death in females worldwide, accounting for 14%, 9%, 7% and 7% 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 causes of cancer death worldwide have changed little over the last 40 years. Lung, liver, stomach and bowel cancers have been the four most common causes of cancer death since 1975.[1-7]

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, Pisani P. 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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The UK mortality rate in males is lower (9%) than the European Union (126 and 139 per 100,000, respectively), but is higher (13%) in females in the UK than in the European Union (EU) (97 and 86 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 mortality rate for all cancers combined for males in the UK is lower (9%) than in the More Developed Regions (MDRs) of the world (126 and 138 per 100,000, respectively), but is higher (13%) for females in the UK than in the MDRs (97 and 86 per 100,000, respectively).[1]

The mortality rates for all cancers combined for both sexes in the UK are higher (5% in males and 22% in females) than the Less Developed Regions (LDRs) of the world (120 and 80 per 100,000 for males and females, respectively).[1]

The four most common causes of cancer death worldwide; lung, liver, stomach, and bowel cancers, are different to the most common causes of cancer death 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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