44 Must-Know Cancer Facts & Statistics for 2021
Cancer refers to a group of illnesses that affect people across all races, ages, and genders. It is considered one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In 2012 alone, the number of reported cancer-related deaths was about 8.2 million in the US, and it has been on the rise ever since.
The following cancer facts and statistics have been thoroughly collected, and we hope they will provide you with everything you need to know about the various types of cancer.
Top 10 Cancer Facts for 2021
- Approximately 39.5% of people will be diagnosed with cancer at least once in their lives.
- There were about 685,000 deaths related to breast cancer in 2020.
- One out of every 41 men will die of prostate cancer, according to cancer statistics.
- At a rate of once every two minutes, a new breast cancer case is diagnosed in the US.
- Over 200 different cancer kinds have been discovered.
- The latest cancer statistics confirm that 830,180 people died from liver cancer in 2020.
- Hospitalized people with COVID-19 and cancer have a higher mortality rate, at 23.9%.
- In 2020, more than 700,000 Americans had a brain tumor.
- Approximately 86% of all melanoma cases are due to exposure to the sun.
- Over 60% of prostate cancer cases occur in men aged 65 and older.
Essential Stats and Facts About Cancer
In 2020, the most common cancer was lung cancer, with 1.80 million deaths worldwide. Interestingly, the most common cancer types differ for men and women. If you want to learn more, read the section below.
1. Approximately 39.5% of people will be diagnosed with cancer at least once in their lives.
Since January 2019, there have been 16.9 million cancer survivors in the US. What’s more, cancer research facts and stats uncover that the number of cancer survivors is estimated to increase to 22.2 million people by 2030.
2. Cancer’s mortality rate is 189.5 among men and 135.7 among women per 100,000.
The cancer mortality rate is 158.3 per 100,000 people a year. Moreover, global cancer statistics from 2020 show that cancer mortality is the highest among Black males at 227.3 per 100,000, while it is the lowest among Asian/Pacific Islander females (85.6 per 100,000).
3. The US spent up to $150.8 billion on cancer care in 2018.
Cancer treatment is expensive. It can even bankrupt you. Besides, facts about cancer predict that these costs are likely to rise in the future. As more medical breakthroughs occur, new treatments will become the standard of care, but they may also be more costly.
4. 4.2 million of the world’s cancer diagnoses occur in Europe, where less than 10% of the world’s population lives.
Cancer statistics worldwide uncover that about 1.9 million deaths, or a fifth of all cancer deaths, occur there. At the same time, China has the highest number of new cases—4.3 million, and deaths—2.9 million. Then comes Northern America, with 2.4 million new cases and 0.7 million deaths.
Cancer and COVID-19 Statistics
What is the relationship between cancer and COVID-19, if there is any? How has the pandemic affected cancer treatment? Read on to find the answers to these questions and learn much more.
5. Having cancer increases your chances of severe COVID-19 illness, as per cancer stats.
Moreover, people with blood cancers might be at higher risk of prolonged infection and death than people with solid tumors. Other factors increasing your chances of severe illness from the virus are older age, weak immune system, and other medical conditions. Be that as it may, cancer patients are allowed and even strongly encouraged to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
6. Cancer awareness facts highlight that hospitalized people with COVID-19 and cancer have a higher mortality rate, at 23.9%.
In comparison, the mortality rate in patients without cancer was approximately 1.51%. That’s why it might be helpful to take preventive measures, support early diagnosis, and develop treatment strategies for such vulnerable patients.
7. It may be recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine between or after treatments.
Some treatments, such as radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy, may make the vaccine less effective. That’s why cancer facts for 2021 suggest that a cancer patient receives the vaccine between or after treatments.
What’s more, getting the vaccine should be delayed if a cancer patient has received a bone marrow/stem cell transplant or if they are on cellular therapy. As always, we strongly recommend consulting your healthcare provider to develop a strategy that will work for you and your treatment.
Breast Cancer Statistics
Breast cancer forms in the breast’s cells, and it is the most common type of cancer in women in the US. That said, it can occur in men, too, as many breast cancer in men statistics show. Let’s read the following section to go into more detail on the matter.
8. In 2020, there were approximately 2.3 million new cases of breast cancer worldwide.
Female breast cancer was found in 11.7% of those cases. According to cancer statistics for 2020, it was followed by lung cancer—11.4%, colorectal cancer—10%, prostate cancer—7.3%, and stomach cancer—5.6%
9. There were about 685,000 deaths related to breast cancer in 2020.
At the end of 2020, 7.8 million women lived with breast cancer, diagnosed in the last five years. Globally, there are more lost disability-adjusted life years by women to this cancer than any other type of cancer.
10. At a rate of once every two minutes, a new breast cancer case is diagnosed in the US.
This statistic further indicates that one out of every eight women in the US will likely have breast cancer in their lifetime. What’s more, according to breast cancer facts, this type of cancer is responsible for 30% of all new cancer diagnoses.
11. There are six million breast cancer survivors.
According to breast cancer stats, approximately 3.8 million of them live in the US. Overall, the mortality rate decreased by about 40% between 1989 and 2017 in the US. On the negative side, every 50 seconds, someone dies from breast cancer somewhere in the world.
Lung Cancer Statistics
It has been estimated that around 235,760 new lung cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2021. As for the 5-year lung cancer survival rate, it remains low—23%. Read the following section to learn more.
12. Every year, there are around 234,000 new lung cancer cases in the US.
That is 13% of all cancer diagnoses. This type of cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related death among both men and women in the US. In addition, cancer statistics by country unveil that approximately 41,000 new cases occur each year in Italy.
13. Every year, 150,000 people die from lung cancer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer deaths, linked to 80%–90% of lung cancers. Lung cancer facts from 2020 emphasize yet again that quitting smoking at any age can significantly lower the risk of lung cancer.
14. Lung cancer’s prevalence in Hungary is 56.7 reported cases per 100,000 residents.
Hungary has the highest rate of lung cancer, and it’s followed by Serbia, which has a rate of 49.8, and New Caledonia (France), with about 42.3 cases per 100,000 residents. In addition, when dividing the rates by gender, Hungary still ranks highest: 77.4 cases per 100,000 men and 41.4 cases per 100,000 women.
Prostate Cancer Stats
One of the most common types of cancer is prostate cancer. While some prostate cancer types grow slowly, others are aggressive and spread fast. Let’s find out more by reading the next section.
15. Over 60% of prostate cancer cases occur in men aged 65 and older.
The average diagnosis age is 66. The disease rarely occurs in people who are younger than 40. In addition, the number of new cases in Black men is almost 80% higher than that in White men. Prostate cancer facts suggest that everyone 50 years old and older discusses getting a prostate cancer screening with their doctor.
16. 89% of prostate cancers are discovered before spreading beyond the prostate area and surrounding organs.
It is known as prostate cancer’s local or regional phase. Both the five and ten-year prostate cancer survival rate is 98%. Unfortunately, the five-year survival rate drops to around 30% when diagnosed after cancer has spread to other body areas.
17. In 2019, about 31,620 deaths were estimated to occur because of prostate cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, the statistic mentioned above marked a 7% increase from 2018. Prostate cancer statistics also forecasted around 174,650 men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer, and that number marked a 6% increase from the year before. Overall, every 17 minutes, another man in the US dies from prostate cancer, totaling 86 deaths a day.
18. One out of every 41 men will die of prostate cancer, according to cancer statistics.
About one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. Also, prostate cancer may run in families, suggesting a genetic component. So if you have a brother or father with this cancer type, you have more than twice the chances of getting the disease in your lifetime.
Colorectal Cancer Statistics
This type of cancer starts in the colon (large intestine) or the rectum. Around one in 23 men and one in 25 women will get this cancer in their lifetime. Dive into the stats and facts below to learn more.
19. Colorectal cancer’s burden will increase by 60% by 2030.
Colorectal cancer is the fourth leading cause of death related to cancer globally. The most recent colon cancer stats anticipate that the total of new colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnoses will reach somewhere around 2.2 million by 2030, with 1.1 million fatalities.
20. Colon cancer facts from 2021 note that colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the US.
Cancer facts and figures for 2021 suggest that there will be 104,270 new cases of colon and 45,230 new cases of rectal cancer. That said, the rate of this type of cancer has dropped since the mid-80s, primarily because more people are addressing lifestyle risk factors and getting screened.
21. 2018 saw over 1.8 million new colorectal cancer cases.
(WCRF) (Mayo Clinic)
Colon cancer facts suggest you attend recommended cancer screenings since something as simple as constipation could be caused by colorectal cancer. Epidemiological studies into CRC show that exercise and physical activity, or dietary change, can lower the risk of colorectal cancer.
Skin Cancer Statistics
There are three major types—squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. We go into more details in the forthcoming section, so don’t miss out.
22. Melanoma cancer’s prevalence is 20 times greater in White people than it is in Blacks.
Its incidence is approximately 2.5% for Whites, 0.1% for Black people, and 0.5% for Hispanics. Furthermore, melanoma facts reveal that the risk is greater if at least one parent or sibling had melanoma. About 10% of all melanoma patients have a family background of the disease. Melanoma’s lifetime risk is relatively high, making it the most common skin cancer for young adults, based on facts about melanoma.
23. Approximately 86% of all melanoma cases are due to exposure to the sun.
(Skin Cancer Foundation)
The sun’s ultraviolet rays are the primary cause of most melanomas. In addition, the average 5-year melanoma survival rate in the US is approximately 92% for White people and 67% for Blacks.
24. Melanoma is projected to cause 7,180 deaths in the US in 2021.
Of them, 4,600 are projected to be male and 2,580—female, as per stats on melanoma fatality rate. At the same time, around 106,110 Americans are projected to be diagnosed with new melanomas in 2021.
Generally, melanoma is the most diagnosed cancer among Americans aged 25–29. As for the 15–29 age group, it’s the third most common cancer in men and the fourth most common cancer in women.
Pancreatic Cancer Statistics
This cancer starts in the tissues of your pancreas. Unfortunately, it is rarely detected when it’s most curable (at its early stages) since it often doesn’t manifest symptoms until it has reached other organs. Read on for more pancreatic cancer facts.
25. In 2021, 60,430 people are estimated to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Of them, 31,950 will be men, and around 28,480 will be women, pancreatic cancer stats uncover. What’s more, 2021 projections show that about 25,270 men and 22,950 women will die of pancreatic cancer.
26. If pancreatic cancer is identified early, the patient has a 5-year survival rate of 34%.
At this stage, only about 10% of the individuals with it are diagnosed. But if cancer has spread to nearby tissues or organs, the 5-year pancreatic cancer survival rate is 12%. Then, in the individuals diagnosed after it has spread to a more distant part of the body, a 5-year survival rate is only 3%.
Ovarian Cancer Facts and Statistics
This cancer starts in the ovaries and often goes undetected until it has reached the pelvis and abdomen. Here’s everything you need to know about ovarian cancer.
27. Ovarian cancer represents 2.5% of the cases of cancer in women.
Ovarian cancer facts show that it’s the 11th most prevalent cancer among females and the deadliest among gynecological cancers. What’s more, Black women have somewhat higher mortality rates compared to White women. Also, there is a 1 in 78 chance of a woman developing invasive ovarian cancer in her lifetime, and the 5-year ovarian cancer survival rate is 48%.
28. For women, ovarian cancer has become the 5th most prevalent cause of cancer-related death in the US.
Most ovarian cancer stats demonstrate that it causes more fatalities than any other cancer associated with the female reproductive system. In fact, a woman’s lifetime chance of dying due to this cancer is around 1 in 108. Also, ovarian cancer demographics reveal that it primarily occurs in older women. As a matter of fact, about 50% of women diagnosed with this cancer type are 63 or older.
Liver Cancer Facts and Stats
Liver cancer starts in your liver’s cells. In fact, a few cancer types may form in the liver, among which the most common one is hepatocellular carcinoma, as well as some not-so-common ones, like hepatoblastoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Why don’t we read on and discover more?
29. The latest cancer statistics confirm that 830,180 people died from liver cancer in 2020.
It was the third deadliest cancer last year. Cancer facts for 2020 affirm that lung cancer was the deadliest type of cancer worldwide, causing over 1.7 million deaths. Colorectal cancer came right after, with 935,173 deaths.
30. Globally, over 800,000 people are diagnosed with liver cancer every year.
This cancer accounts for 700,000 deaths per year, according to annual cancer rates. Additionally, the incidence and mortality rates have been increasing—the figures recorded in 2017 are almost twice the numbers recorded in 1990.
Furthermore, some of the 2021 forecasts on primary liver cancer and intrahepatic bile duct cancer suggest that around 42,230 people will be diagnosed, and about 30,230 will die.
31. The 5-year liver cancer survival rate is 33% for those diagnosed at an early stage.
Generally speaking, survival rates depend on a few factors, like the disease’s stage. That said, the statistic mentioned above refers only to the 44% diagnosed at an early stage. However, that percentage for people whose cancer has spread to the surrounding organs and tissues or the regional lymph nodes is 12%. Finally, if it has spread to a distant body part, the five-year survival rate is 3%.
Stats and Facts About Other Cancer Types
Since thousands of years ago, cancer has been recognized as a human ailment. However, not until the past century did medical science understand the true meaning and severity of cancer. Since then, scientists have made remarkable advances, and nowadays, people are living with cancer longer. Find more data below.
32. Around 18,000 women and 57,000 men are diagnosed with bladder cancer every year in the US.
Of them, around 5,000 women and 12,000 men die of this cancer. As for the symptoms, the most common one is blood in the urine, followed by the frequent need to urinate.
According to the CDC, most cancer statistics highlight smoking as a key risk factor for bladder cancer. In addition, family background poses another risk for this particular cancer.
33. Approximately 27,510 cases of stomach cancer were projected for 2019.
Of them, 17,230 were projected to occur in men and another 10,280 in women. What’s more, about 11,140 individuals were estimated to die from this form of cancer (6,800 men and 4,340 women). Although most stomach cancer causes are not known, there are several presumed risk factors.
34. In 2020, more than 700,000 Americans had a brain tumor.
Brain cancer facts and stats predict that over 84,000 people will be diagnosed with a primary brain tumor in 2021. When it comes to children and brain tumors, in the United States of America, over 28,000 are fighting cancer.
35. Over 65,000 people get kidney and renal pelvis cancers per year.
That’s 41,000 men and 24,000 women. What’s more, approximately 9,000 men and 5,000 women die from these diseases.
Renal pelvis and kidney cancer facts report that some of these diseases’ symptoms include feeling tired, blood in the urine, lower back pain, a lump or swelling in the kidney area or the abdomen.
36. The 5-year survival rate of neuroendocrine tumors of the appendix varies from 67% to 97%.
Be that as it may, the 5-year survival rate for cancers that have spread to other body parts can be significantly lower. Additionally, appendix cancer facts remark that the cause of this cancer is unknown, but scientists have been working to understand how this cancer forms.
37. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma accounts for around 4% of all cancers in the US.
Consequently, it’s one of the most common ones in the US. Not to mention that the chances of a man developing NHL are 1 in 41, and that risk is 1 in 52 for women. Furthermore, the 2021 estimates for this cancer propose that around 81,560 people will be diagnosed with it, and 20,720 people will die from it, as per cancer deaths per year.
38. Every year, about 8,000–10,000 people will develop testicular cancer.
(Johns Hopkins) (The ASCO Post)
There’s a 1 in 270 chance of developing testicular cancer. Fortunately, 95% of all men with this cancer are cured of it, and only about 400 people die each year from it. Overall, the likelihood of fatality is greater than 1 in 5,000. Furthermore, testicular cancer facts find that young male cancer survivors may considerably benefit from testosterone replacement therapy.
39. Cervical cancer is the 4th most common cancer occurring among women.
In 2018, there were 570,000 new cases, and 311,000 women died of this cancer. That being said, cervical cancer facts also show that with early diagnosis, prevention, engaging in therapy programs, and efficient screenings, we could lower mortality rates from cervical cancer worldwide.
Additional Useful Stats and Facts About Cancer
Many cancer patients engage in therapy or counseling to work with a mental health professional and cope with their challenges. Moreover, it may help you understand your reactions and feelings and provide a safe place to talk about them. This section covers many other useful cancer facts and stats, so keep reading.
40. 9.5 million people around the world lost their lives to cancer in 2018.
Overall, cancer causes about one in six fatalities, killing around 26,000 people every day. What’s more, 600,000 cancer deaths occur in the US, and 80,000 occur in Canada. Shockingly, 70% of all cancer fatalities take place in low- or middle-income countries.
41. Over 50% of those diagnosed with cancer In England and Wales have lived for over 10 years.
(Cancer Research UK)
In the UK, the survival rates have doubled in the last four decades, with women having higher survival rates than men. Interestingly, cancer survival rates are lower in low-income countries. What’s more, they are usually higher in people under 40 (except for breast, bowel, and prostate cancer).
42. Over 200 different cancer kinds have been discovered.
In the US, other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed. Additionally, the breast cancer survival rate is approximately 90%. Then, lung cancer and prostate cancer are the next most prevalent—over 40,000 instances in 2018.
43. People who use cannabis have a 45% lower risk of being diagnosed with bladder cancer, facts about cancer reveal.
One study evaluating 64,855 American males discovered that cannabis use didn’t raise the chances of developing a type of cancer associated with tobacco use. However, this same research also found an increased danger of prostate cancer among male cannabis users who had never smoked tobacco.
44. The most deadly cancer is diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).
DIPG is a rare brain cancer, usually affecting children, as per pediatric cancer facts. Its treatments include radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy. So if you want to know which cancer has the lowest survival rate, the answer is DIPG, with, believe it or not, a 5-year survival rate of less than 1%.
Given these points, a lot of cancer treatment options depend on the stage and level of the disease. In other words, for certain cancers, such as cancer of the bladder, surgery can take place alongside other treatments to remove the tumor.
Then, for effective cancer treatment, follow-up is vital because some cancers have a high recurrence rate. All things considered, these cancer facts and statistics should help in educating people on the most common types of cancer, especially in relation to their prevalence and their survival rates.
Is it true that 1 in 2 will get cancer?
As scary as it sounds, according to the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, one in two people will get cancer. Furthermore, in the UK, the most common types of cancer are breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and bowel cancer. Also, to reduce the chances of cancer, the NHS suggests not smoking, following a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.
What are the odds of getting cancer by age?
As we’ve already mentioned, age is one of the most crucial risk factors for cancer. The incidence of cancer rates in people under 20 are fewer than 25 cases per 100,000 people. Then, they are 350 per 100,000 people in those aged between 45 and 49, and over 1,000 per 100,000 in those aged 60 or older.
Are cancer deaths going down?
According to the American Cancer Society, the cancer death rate has kept on declining. In fact, from 1991 to 2018, it has fallen by 31%, which includes a 2.4% decline from 2017 to 2018. That’s a new record for the biggest 1-year drop in cancer death rates.
How many people die from cancer each year?
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world, responsible for almost 10 million deaths in 2020.
In fact, the five types of cancer causing the most death cases that year were:
- Lung cancer, with 1.80 million deaths
- Colon and rectum cancer, with 935,000 deaths
- Liver cancer, with 830,000 deaths
- Stomach cancer, with 769,000 deaths
- Breast cancer, with 685,000 deaths
Does marijuana cure cancer?
Even though many people take CBD to alleviate their cancer symptoms, there isn’t any evidence that it can cure the disease. However, there have been reports that THC and CBD may help against vomiting, nausea, anxiety, neuropathy, depression, and insomnia.
How does cancer kill you?
Cancer kills when invading essential organs, such as the lungs, liver, or brain. Even though some cancer types progress slowly, others spread more aggressively. Cancer facts affirm that as cancer spreads in the body, it’s more difficult to control it.