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The Burden of Cancer

India, China, and other East and Central Asian countries account for nearly half of the world’s new cancer cases and deaths.

Estimated global numbers of new cases and deaths with proportions by major world regions, for all malignant cancers (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) in both sexes combined, 2012

Lung Cancer

Because survival from lung cancer varies little by region, global patterns of lung cancer mortality mirror those of incidence.

Estimated new lung cancer cases and percentage of new cases by region, 2012

Chart showing estimated new lung cancer cases and percentage of new cases by region, 2012

Breast Cancer

Although the estimated number of breast cancer deaths is less than a third of estimated new cases, breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in women in less-developed countries, and the second among women in developed countries.

Estimated new breast cancer cases and deaths by region, 2012

Cancer in Children

The ratio of childhood cancer incidence to mortality is lower in low-Human Development Index (HDI) countries.

Estimated rates per million of cancer incidence and mortality in children (age 0-14 years), 2012

Map showing estimated rates per million of cancer incidence and mortality in children (age 0-14 years), 2012

Human Development Index (HDI) Transitions

As countries transition towards higher levels of human development, their cancer burden will not only increase, but the types of cancer observed will also change.

Recent (2012) and future (2025) cancer burden by HDI (new cases in millions), based on projected demographic changes

Chart showing recent (2012) and future (2025) cancer burden by HDI (new cases in millions), based on projected demographic changes

Overview of Geographical Diversity

The causes of a large portion of commonly diagnosed cancers in Western populations remain unknown.

Estimated number of new cancer cases (2012) and percent attributable to unknown risk factors by cancer site

Illustration showing new cancer cases attributable to known preventable risk factors by cancer site which indicates that a large part of the causes for the most common cancers in Western populations remains unknown

Cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa

For many cancers, the risk of getting cancer and the risk of dying from it are nearly the same in Sub-Saharan Africa, because of late stage at diagnosis and lack of treatment.

Probability of developing or dying from cancer before the age of 75 in Sub-Saharan Africa, 2012

Chart showing the probability of developing or dying from cancer before the age of 75 in sub-Saharan Africa, 2012 which indicates that for many cancers, the risk of getting cancer and the risk of dying from it are nearly the same in this region

Cancer in Latin America and the Caribbean

While cervical cancer rates are decreasing, breast cancer rates are increasing in this region.

Trends in cervical and female breast cancer incidence, age-standardized rates (world) per 100,000 females, all ages, 1981-2006

Graphs showing the trends in cervical and female breast cancer incidence in Latin America and the Caribbean, age-standardized rates per 100,000 population, all ages, from1981-2006 which indicate that while cervical cancer rates are decreasing, breast cancer rates are increasing in this region

Cancer in Northern America

Reductions in colorectal cancer mortality rates in the USA began later and were slower in US blacks compared to whites.

Age-standardized USA colorectal cancer mortality rates by race, both sexes, per 100,000, 1975-2010

Graph showing age-standardized USA colorectal cancer mortality rates by race, both sexes, from 1975-2010 which indicates that reductions in colorectal cancer mortality rates in the USA began later and were slower in US blacks compared to whites

Cancer in Southern, Eastern, and Southeastern Asia

China alone accounts for 50% of all cancer cases in this region.

Top 5 countries in this region with the highest estimated number of cancer cases, 2012

Chart showing the top 5 countries in Southern, Eastern, and Southeastern Asia with the highest estimated number of cancer cases in 2012 which indicates that China alone accounted for 50% of all cancer cases in this region

Cancer in Europe

Lung cancer incidence rates vary greatly between European countries, in both men and women.

Estimated age-standardized incidence rate (world) of lung cancer in Europe by sex, per 100,000, 2012

Chart showing estimated age-standardized lung cancer incidence rate of lung cancer in Europe by sex, per 100,000, in 2012 which indicates that lung cancer incidence rates vary greatly between European countries, in both men and women

Cancer in Northern Africa, Central Asia, and West Asia

While bladder cancer mortality rates are decreasing in Egypt, other cancers are increasing, including colorectal, liver, lung, and breast cancers.

Cancer mortality trends in Egypt, age-standardized rate (world), all ages, 2000-2011

Graph shows the cancer mortality trends in Egypt from 2000-2011and indicates that while bladder cancer mortality rates are decreasing there, other cancers are increasing, including colorectal, liver, lung, and breast cancers

Cancer in Oceania

The three sub-regions of Oceania vary markedly in risk factors and treatment availability, resulting in diverse cancer profiles.

Estimated total cancer cases and contribution (%) of top 5 cancer sites by subregion, both sexes, 2012

Charts showing that the three sub-regions of Oceania vary markedly in risk factors and treatment availability, resulting in diverse cancer profiles

Cancer Survivorship

In countries at high or very high levels of the Human Development Index, the proportion of the population who are cancer survivors is much higher than in countries at low or medium levels, although the profile of such survivors varies by Index level.

Number of cancer survivors diagnosed within the past five years per 20,000 population among adult men and women (15+ years), by Human Development Index for select cancer sites, 2012

Chart showing that in countries at high or very high levels of the Human Development Index, the proportion of the population who are cancer survivors is much higher than in countries at low or medium levels, although the profile of such survivors varies by Index level

Cancer Survival