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Lifetime Risk of Developing or Dying From Cancer

The lifetime risk of developing or dying from cancer refers to the chance a person has, over the course of his or her lifetime (from birth to death), of being diagnosed with or dying from cancer. These risk estimates, like annual incidence and mortality data, provide another measure of how widespread cancer is in the United States.

The following tables list lifetime risks of developing and dying from certain cancers for men and women. The information is from the US National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Database, and is based on incidence and mortality data for the United States from 2008 through 2010, the most current years for which data are available.

The risk is expressed both in terms of a percentage and as odds. For example, the risk that a man will develop bladder cancer during his lifetime is 3.82%. This means he has about 1 chance in 26 of developing bladder cancer (100/3.82 = 26). Put another way, 1 out of every 26 men in the United States will develop bladder cancer during his lifetime.

These numbers are average risks for the overall US population. Your risk may be higher or lower than these numbers, depending on your particular risk factors.

Males

 

Risk of developing

Risk of dying from

 

%

1 in

%

1 in

All invasive sites

43.92

2

22.94

4

Bladder (includes in situ)

3.82

26

0.90

111

Brain and nervous system

0.69

145

0.50

200

Breast

0.13

769

0.03

3,333

Colon and rectum

5.01

20

2.07

48

Esophagus

0.80

125

0.79

127

Hodgkin disease

0.25

400

0.04

2,500

Kidney and renal pelvis

2.05

49

0.61

164

Larynx (voice box)

0.60

167

0.21

476

Leukemia

1.65

61

1.02

98

Liver and bile duct

1.23

81

0.87

115

Lung and bronchus

7.62

13

6.61

15

Melanoma of the skin

2.54

39

0.43

233

Multiple myeloma

0.80

125

0.46

217

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

2.36

42

0.87

115

Oral cavity and pharynx

1.52

66

0.38

263

Pancreas

1.50

67

1.34

75

Prostate

15.33

7

2.71

37

Stomach

1.08

93

0.50

200

Testicles

0.39

256

0.02

5,000

Thyroid

0.55

182

0.05

2,000

Females

 

Risk of developing

    Risk of dying from

 

%

1 in

%

1 in

All invasive sites

38.00

3

19.34

5

    Bladder (includes in situ)

    1.15

    87

    0.34

    294

    Brain and nervous system

    0.55

    182

    0.40

    250

    Breast

    12.29

    8

    2.74

    36

    Cervix

    0.66

    152

    0.23

    435

    Colon and rectum

    4.65

    22

    1.90

    53

    Esophagus

    0.23

    435

    0.21

    476

    Hodgkin disease

    0.20

    500

    0.03

    3,333

    Kidney and renal pelvis

    1.20

    83

    0.34

    294

    Larynx (voice box)

    0.14

    714

    0.05

    2,000

    Leukemia

    1.17

    85

    0.72

    139

    Liver and bile duct

    0.51

    196

    0.45

    222

    Lung and bronchus

    6.26

    16

    4.99

    20

    Melanoma of the skin

    1.60

    63

    0.21

    476

    Multiple myeloma

    0.61

    164

    0.37

    270

    Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

    1.93

    52

    0.70

    143

    Oral cavity and pharynx

    0.68

    147

    0.18

    556

    Ovary

    1.37

    73

    0.99

    101

    Pancreas

    1.48

    68

    1.32

    76

    Stomach

    0.67

    149

    0.34

    294

    Thyroid

    1.61

    62

    0.07

    1,429

    Uterine corpus

    2.69

    37

    0.55

    182

References

Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Garshell J, Neyman N, Altekruse SF, Kosary CL, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Cho H, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2010, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2010/, based on November 2012 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER website, April 2013.

Lifetime Risk (Percent) of Being Diagnosed with Cancer by Site and Race/Ethnicity: Males, 18 SEER Areas, 2008-2010 (Table 1.16) and Females, 18 SEER Areas, 2008-2010 (Table 1.17). 2013. Accessed at http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2010/results_merged/topic_lifetime_risk_diagnosis.pdf on August 20, 2013.

Lifetime Risk (Percent) of Dying from Cancer by Site and Race/Ethnicity: Males, Total US, 2008-2010 (Table 1.19) and Females, Total US, 2008-2010 (Table 1.20). 2013. Accessed at http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2010/results_merged/topic_lifetime_risk_death.pdf on August 20, 2013.


Last Medical Review: 08/23/2013
Last Revised: 09/05/2013