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The risk of developing cancer before 75 years can approach 35% (over 1 in 3) in some countries.

Worldwide, there were an estimated 14.1 million new cancer cases and 8.2 million cancer deaths in 2012. Of these, 57% (8 million) of new cancer cases and 65% (5.3 million) of the cancer deaths occurred in the less-developed regions of the world. Almost half of all new cancer cases and slightly more than half of all cancer deaths occur in Asia, and one quarter of the global burden occurs in China.

By the year 2025, there will be an estimated 19.3 million new cancer cases and 11.4 million cancer deaths, and the proportions of these occurring in less developed regions will increase to 59% and 68% respectively.

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

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By the year 2025, there will be an estimated 19.3 million new cancer cases and 11.4 million cancer deaths, and the proportions of these occurring in less-developed regions will increase to 59% and 68% respectively.

Lung and prostate cancers are the most common cancers in men, followed by colorectal, stomach, and liver cancers. In terms of mortality in men, lung cancer has the highest rates followed by liver and stomach cancers. Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer diagnosed in women, followed by colorectal, cervix, and lung cancer.

In women, breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in 140 countries of the world, while cervical cancer is the most common in 39 countries. Some countries have other cancer types as the most common in women, notably lung cancer in China, liver cancer in Mongolia, and thyroid cancer in South Korea. In men, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in 87 countries worldwide, including all those in the Americas and in much of Europe, Australia, and parts of Africa. Lung cancer is the most common cancer in Russia, China, Eastern Europe, and parts of Northern Africa (38 countries). In Africa and Asia, there is more diversity in the most common sites in men.

Unlike the map for the most commonly diagnosed cancers, the global distribution of years of life lost to cancer shows much less variation and no relationship to level of development. This is because in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, a much higher proportion of fatal cancers are diagnosed at young ages.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of new cases and deaths among men, while breast cancer is the leading cause of new cases and deaths among women.

Global estimated age-standardized cancer incidence and mortality rates (world) per 100,000 by major sites in men and women, 2012

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Cancer, already“the leading cause of death in many high-income countries, is set to become a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the next few decades in every region of the world, irrespective of level of resource.

Bray F et al., Lancet Oncology, 2012