Is cancer a disease? In fact, cancer refers to a group of diseases that have affected people across race, age, and gender. The unchecked growth of its cells can damage other parts of the body if left untreated. In 2012 alone, the number of reported cancer-related deaths was 8.2 million in the US, and this number is on the rise. The following statistics have been collected to help explain vital details about the various types of cancer.
10 Vital Cancer Statistics & Facts to Know in 2020
- 65% of cancer fatalities were from parts of Asia, Africa, and Central America.
- The United States spent up to $147.3 billion on cancer care in 2017.
- 23.4% of the world’s cancer diagnoses occur in Europe, where less than 10% of the world’s population lives.
- Cancer’s mortality rate is 196.8 among men and 139.6 among women per 100,000.
- In 2018, there were approximately 2.1 million new cases of breast cancer.
- There were about 41,400 deaths related to breast cancer in 2018.
- There are 6 million breast cancer survivors.
- In 2018, about 154,050 people died because of lung cancer.
- In 2019, about 31,620 deaths will occur because of prostate cancer.
- 2018 saw over 1.8 million new colorectal cancer cases.
General Stats & Facts About Cancer
1. Approximately 38.4% of people will be diagnosed with cancer at least once in their lives.
The cancer stats show that at some stage during their lifetime, around 38.4% of the population will develop cancer. This is derived from information collected between 2013 and 2015. Additional data also shows that around 15,270 kids and adolescents 19 years of age and under were diagnosed with cancer in 2017. Of this number, the cancer facts report that about 1,790 of them died from it.
2. Cancer’s mortality rate is 196.8 among men and 139.6 among women per 100,000.
Cancer statistics from 2018 also indicate that the mortality rate among women is lower, at 139.6 deaths per 100,000 women. The statistics by race and gender show that cancer mortality is highest among African American males at 239.9 per 100,000, and it’s the lowest among Asian/Pacific Islander females (88.3 per 100,000).
3. 23.4% of the world’s cancer diagnoses occur in Europe, where less than 10% of the world’s population lives.
And 20.3% of all cancer-related fatalities take place there, even though Europe holds only 9% of the world’s population. Europe is followed by the Americas, which have a 21% cancer occurrence rate and represent 14.4% of all cancer fatalities globally. A region’s portion of global cancer fatalities can be greater than its cancer incidence rate, especially if it’s known for having high fatality rates in general.
For example, according to the global cancer statistics from 2018, Asia’s incidence rate is 48.4% among its population, while the continent’s share of global cancer deaths is 57.3%. The same is the case for Africa, at an incidence of 5.8% and a global share of 7.3%.
4. The United States spent up to $147.3 billion on cancer care in 2017.
Cancer treatment is expensive. It can even bankrupt you. It’s predicted 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. At the same time, if we don’t figure out what causes cancer, the cancer rates will continue to increase as the population grows and ages.
5. 65% of cancer fatalities were from parts of Asia, Africa, and Central America.
In 2012, 57% of all recently diagnosed instances of cancer happened in less developed regions. Most of the deaths related to cancer occurred in these places. It’s anticipated that the number of fresh cancer instances will increase to about 23.6 million worldwide by 2030. In fact, the cancer statistics from 2020 will most likely show a rise to 1 million cases per year for men in America, according to the CDC.
There are several common types of cancer that are important to know about. These include breast cancer, bronchus and lung cancer, prostate cancer, rectum and colon cancer (colorectal), skin melanoma cancer, cancer of the bladder, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, renal pelvic and kidney cancer, endometrial cancer, cancer of the blood (leukemia), pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer, and liver cancer. You’ll find most of them discussed in more detail below.
We’ll now take a look at the stats and facts about specific cancer types.
Breast Cancer Statistics
6. In 2018, there were approximately 2.1 million new cases of breast cancer.
Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer worldwide. The number of new breast cancer diagnoses reached roughly 2.1 million just last year. This accounts for approximately 1 in 4 new cancer diagnoses. This statistic firmly places breast cancer as the most common cancer in women.
There are numerous risk factors which contribute to the development of this cancer type – some unmodifiable, such as specific gene mutations, some modifiable, such as taking hormones.
7. There were about 41,400 deaths related to breast cancer in 2018.
This statistic further divides the death toll from this last year as close to 40,900 women and 500 men. There has been a considerable decline in the death rate of female breast cancer. This decline has been attributed to advancements in timely detection as a direct result of breast cancer awareness. Nevertheless, a large number of people still die because of problems associated with breast cancer each year.
8. At a rate of once every 2 minutes, a new case of breast cancer is diagnosed in the US.
(Komen and peoplebeatingcancer.org)
This statistic further indicates that 1 out of every 8 women in the US will likely have breast cancer in their lifetime. Based on 2017 data, that’s 252,710 new cases of invasive BC, and 63,410 new cases of breast carcinoma in situ. According to these same breast cancer facts, this type of cancer is responsible for 30% of all new cancer diagnoses.
9. There are 6 million breast cancer survivors.
According to various breast cancer stats, this type of cancer has an exceptionally high five-year survival rate when it’s detected early and treated correctly (99%). Around the world, there are over 6 million cases of people who’ve survived breast cancer living today, with about 3.8 million of them in the US. Education on breast cancer treatment reduced its mortality rate by 40% between 1989 and 2016 in the US.
Lung Cancer Statistics
10. In 2018, there were around 234,000 new lung cancer cases in the US.
(NCBI and cancer.org)
Lung cancer is a major source of cancer-related death among both men and women in the US. The rates and trends of lung cancer differ significantly by age, sex, race/ethnicity, geography, and socioeconomic status due to variations in smoking patterns. However, it’s the most common cancer in men, ranking first among the major causes of death from cancer among males. It also places second among the causes of cancer-related deaths for women worldwide.
11. The rate of lung cancer’s prevalence in Hungary is 56.7 reported cases per 100,000 residents.
Hungary has the highest rate of lung cancer. It’s followed by Serbia, which has a rate of 49.8 per 100,000. When dividing the rates by gender, Hungary still ranks highest: 77.4 for men and 41.4 for women per 100,000.
12. In 2018, about 154,050 people died because of lung cancer.
In fact, the lung cancer facts show that the mortality rate has decreased drastically. Since 1990, it has decreased by a full 45% in men, and by 2002, it decreased by 19% in women. This is partly because fewer people smoke worldwide. From 2011 to 2015, the rate reduced by 3.8% a year in men and 2.3% a year in women.
Prostate Cancer Statistics
13. Over 60% of prostate cancer cases occur in men aged 65 and older.
In the case of prostate cancer, most facts indicate that its primary risk factors are age and gender. Detecting prostate cancer early (before the cancer has spread) can drastically improve the five-year survival rate. With such notably higher rates in people as they age, everyone 50 years and older should discuss getting a prostate cancer screening with a doctor.
14. About 90% of prostate cancers are discovered before they spread beyond the prostate area and surrounding organs.
This is known as prostate cancer’s local or regional phase. According to most cancer statistics, the five-year survival rate is a full 100% for most males when the cancer is found in this stage. Unfortunately, the five-year survival rate drops to 30% in men when they are diagnosed after the cancer has spread to other areas in the body.
15. In 2019, about 31,620 deaths will occur because of prostate cancer.
This makes it one of the most common types of cancer. The death rate of prostate cancer has decreased by 51% from a peak of 39.3 per 100,000 people in 1993 to 19.4 per 100,000 in 2016. The rate seems to have normalized in recent years. Earlier PSA testing and progress in therapy are ascribed to the fast decrease in prostate cancer’s mortality rate.
16. 1 out of every 41 men will die of prostate cancer.
About 174,650 fresh prostate cancer cases. Cancer statistics show that about 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and approximately 1 in 41 men will die because of prostate cancer. The good news is that prostate cancer may be a severe disease, but most people who’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer will likely survive it. In reality, over 2.9 million people with a diagnosis of prostate cancer are still alive today in the US alone.
Colorectal Cancer Statistics
17. The number of new cases of colorectal cancer will increase by 60% by 2030.
The most recent colon cancer facts anticipate that the total of new colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnoses will reach 2.2 million by 2030, with 1.1 million fatalities.
18. Approximately 51,020 fatalities due to colorectal cancer are anticipated in 2019.
CRC’s mortality rate has been declining for several decades. Additionally, the colon cancer stats prove colorectal cancer therapy has seen serious improvement over the last few decades. In fact, the US now has over a million CRC survivors. Despite this promising data, between 2007 and 2016, there’s been a 1% yearly increase in CRC-related fatalities among individuals younger than 55.
19. 2018 saw over 1.8 million new colorectal cancer cases.
You shouldn’t skip recommended cancer screenings. Something as simple as constipation could be caused by colorectal cancer. Among men, this cancer is the third most common, and among women, it’s the second. In addition, epidemiological studies into CRC show that physical activity and dietary change can lower colorectal cancer’s risk.
Skin Cancer Statistics
20. Melanoma cancer’s prevalence is 20 times greater in white people than it is in black people.
Melanoma’s risk is greater if at least one parent or sibling had melanoma. In fact, about 10% of all melanoma patients have a family background of the disease. Melanoma’s lifetime risk is relatively high because it’s the most common skin cancer. It’s incidence is approximately 2.5% for whites, 0.1% for black people, and 0.5% for Hispanics.
21. 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. Across all phases of melanoma exposure to UV radiation, the average five-year melanoma survival rate in the US is 92%. For women whose melanoma is identified at an early stage, it has a five-year survival rate of about 98%. When the disease hits the lymph nodes, the overall survival rate drops to 64%, and then it lowers further to 23% once the cancer metastasizes and spreads to other organs.
22. Melanoma is projected to cause 7,000 deaths in the US in 2019.
In 2019, the skin cancer statistics show that 96,480 Americans are anticipated to be diagnosed with new melanomas. Melanoma is the most diagnosed cancer among those in the 25–29-year range in the US. Among the 15–29 age group, it’s the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and the fourth most common among women. Of the 7,000 mentioned here, 4,740 are male and 2,490 are female.
Pancreatic Cancer Statistics
23. In 2018, there were around 55,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer.
With pancreatic cancer, the facts show that about 94% of these occurrences will grow in the exocrine tissue, which forms the bulk of the pancreas and generates the enzymes necessary for food digestion. The other 6% form as endocrine tumors. From 2005 to 2014, the incidence rates of pancreatic cancer in white people rose by about 1% year on year, and in black people, the numbers were stable—however, this form of cancer is diagnosed about 25% more often in black people than it is in whites.
24. If pancreatic cancer is identified early, when the tumor can be removed surgically, the patient has a 5-year survival rate of 34%.
Unfortunately, most pancreatic cancer stats show that it’s often hard to diagnose pancreatic cancer. This is because there are no specific, cost-effective screening tests to readily and reliably discover early-stage pancreatic cancer in individuals without symptoms. At this stage, only about 10% of the individuals with it are diagnosed. If the cancer has spread to nearby tissues or organs, the five-year survival rate is 12%. For the 52% of individuals diagnosed after it has spread to a more distant part of the body, they have a five-year survival rate of 3%.
Ovarian Cancer Statistics
25. Ovarian cancer represents 2.5% of the cases of cancer in women.
The ovarian cancer facts show that it’s the 11th most prevalent cancer among females, as well as the deadliest of gynecological cancers. African American women have somewhat lower mortality rates compared to white women. There is a 1 in 78 chance of a woman developing invasive ovarian cancer in her lifetime. The risk of death from invasive ovarian cancer in a woman’s lifetime is 1 in 109.
26. 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. Between 2010 and 2014, 7.2 out of every 100,000 individuals in the US died yearly as a result of ovarian cancer. In 2018, there were around 14,100 individuals in the US who died from ovarian cancer. The average relative five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer is 47%.
Liver Cancer Statistics
27. In 2018, there were about 42,220 new liver cancer diagnoses in the US.
Liver cancer is approximately three times more prevalent in men than it is in women. Some of the liver cancer symptoms in females and males alike include fever, abdominal pain or swelling, loss of appetite, weight loss, and enlargement of the liver. In 2018, an estimated 42,200 new instances of liver cancer—including intrahepatic cancers of the bile duct—were diagnosed in the US. About three-fourths of these were hepatocellular cancer (HCC).
28. 2018 saw an estimated 30,200 fatalities from liver cancer.
For liver cancer, the causes aren’t clear in the same way they are for other cancers. With this in mind, the fatality rate could be reduced if the causes of this cancer were better understood. However, it does have some known risk factors. Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) or hepatitis B virus (HBV), obesity, heavy alcohol intake, diabetes, and tobacco smoking are key risk factors for liver cancer in the US.
Statistics on Other Cancer Types
29. Around 18,000 women and 56,000 men are diagnosed with bladder cancer every year in the US.
Of these people, around 5,000 women and 12,000 men die from this disease. The most common symptom 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 in bladder cancer. Family background poses another risk for this particular cancer.
30. There will be approximately 27,510 cases of stomach cancer in 2019.
Of these 27,510 instances, it’s projected that 17,230 will occur in men and 10,280 in women. About 11,140 individuals will 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, like age. Nevertheless, it’s still unclear how these factors make the cells in the stomach turn cancerous.
31. The number of people who will be diagnosed with a brain tumor will surpass 23,820 in 2019.
In 2019, an approximate 23,820 adults (about 13,410 males and 10,410 females) will be diagnosed with a spinal cord tumor or brain tumor in the US. According to the latest brain cancer facts, approximately 3,720 kids under 15 years of age will be diagnosed with a spinal cord tumor or brain tumor.
32. In 2018, the number of new recorded cases of kidney cancer surpassed 400,000.
Kidney cancer places 9th among the types of cancer found in men, and it ranks 14th in the types of cancer commonly found in women. Additional kidney cancer facts also show that Belarus and Latvia had the largest rates of kidney cancer in 2018 at rates of 16.8 and 15.5 respectively per 100,000.
33. The five-year survival rate of appendix cancer varies from 25% to 88% based on the tumor’s size and where it grows.
This highly unusual type of cancer begins in the appendix, and it represents approximately 0.5% of all tumors that begin in the GI tract. Most appendix cancer facts note that the neuroendocrine tumors that develop due to appendix cancer are more prevalent in women.
34. About 74,200 people will be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2019.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is one of America’s most prevalent diseases, accounting for about 4% of all cancer diagnoses. Approximately 74,200 individuals (41,090 men and 33,110 women) will develop NHL in 2019 according to the American Cancer Society’s latest estimates. This includes kids and adults alike. Childhood cancer facts also show that this accounts for about 5% of all cancer in children. This cancer will lead to about 19,970 fatalities (11,510 men and 8,460 women).
35. Cervical cancer is the 4th most common cancer occurring among women.
In 2018, there were 570,000 new cases—making up about 6.6% of all cases of cancer in women. Approximately 90% of the fatalities from cervical cancer happened in countries with low or moderate incomes. The cervical cancer facts also show that with a combination of early diagnosis, prevention, therapy programs, and efficient screenings, the high mortality rates from cervical cancer could be lowered worldwide.
36. Every year, about 8,000–10,000 people will develop testicular cancer.
There’s a 1 in 270 chance of developing testicular cancer. Fortunately, 95% of all men with this cancer are cured of it. The testicular cancer facts show that only about 400 people die each year from it, with the likelihood of fatality being greater than 1 in 5,000. In the US, approximately 20,000 with this cancer are currently surviving, and 200,000 have been cured.
Additional Useful Statistics on Cancer
37. Over 50% of those diagnosed with cancer have been living for over 5 years.
How does cancer kill you? First, it’s essential to note that not all cancers have high fatality rates. Overall, over half of those diagnosed with cancer have been living for five years or longer. As we’ve seen, there are some cancers whose survival rates are 90% or higher. Cancer’s fatality rate depends on what type of the disease you have and what sections of your body are impacted. Some cancers begin in or spread to a portion of the body that performs functions vital to life, making them harder to survive.
38. How many types of cancer are there? Over 200 different kinds have been discovered.
Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed. Lung cancer and prostate cancer are the next most prevalent—meaning there were over 40,000 instances per year.
39. What is the number of cancer deaths per year? 9.6 million people lost their lives to cancer in 2018.
Cancer is the world’s second-largest cause of death, with an estimated 9.6 million fatalities in 2018. How many people die from cancer each year? Overall, cancer causes about 1 in 6 fatalities.
70% of these cancer fatalities took place in low- or middle-income nations. Approximately one-third of these fatalities are due to the five major behavioral and nutritional hazards: an elevated body mass index, minimal consumption of fruits and vegetables, minimal physical activity, the use of tobacco, and the use of alcohol.
40. People who use cannabis have a 45% lower risk of being diagnosed with bladder cancer.
Does marijuana cure cancer? One study evaluating 64,855 US 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 discovered that there was an enhanced danger of prostate cancer among male cannabis users who had never smoked tobacco.
On the other hand, the cancer statistics and data derived from another 2015 study showed a promising connection between cannabis and cancer of the bladder. Researchers discovered that cannabis users had a 45% reduced risk of developing bladder cancer after adapting for several variables. While the study has shown that cannabis smoke still generates carcinogens, there’s still no clear connection between inhaled marijuana and cancer.
41. The most deadly cancer is diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) whose five-year survival rate is less than 1%.
Which cancer has the lowest survival rate? DIPG’s five-year survival rate is less than 1%. And in children, the median survival period is roughly 9 months. The one-year survival rate is 30%, and it drops to below 10% the following year. These statistics place DIPG as one of the worst childhood cancers. Although around 75%–85% of patients may see improvement after radiation treatment, DIPGs almost always start to develop again and progress.
There are many cancer treatment options depending on the stage and level of the disease. For certain cancers, such as cancer of the bladder, surgery can take place alongside other treatments to remove the tumor. For effective cancer treatment, follow-up is vital because some of these cancers have a high rate of recurrence. These cancer statistics should help educate people on the details of the most common types of cancer, especially in relation to their prevalence and survival rates.
List of Sources:
- Skin Cancer Foundation
- Johns Hopkins