According to estimates from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), there were 12.7 million new cancer cases in 2008 worldwide, of which 5.6 million occurred in economically developed countries and 7.1 million in economically developing countries. The corresponding estimates for total cancer deaths in 2008 were 7.6 million (about 21,000 cancer deaths a day), 2.8 million in economically developed countries and 4.8 million in economically developing countries. By 2030, the global burden is expected to grow to 21.4 million new cancer cases and 13.2 million cancer deaths simply due to the growth and aging of the population, as well as reductions in childhood mortality and deaths from infectious diseases in developing countries.
The estimated future burden could be much larger than given above due to the adoption of western lifestyles, such as smoking, poor diet, physical inactivity, and reproductive factors, in economically developing countries. Cancers related to these factors, such as lung, breast, and colorectal cancers, are increasing in economically transitioning countries. Rates of cancers common in Western countries will continue to rise in developing countries if preventive measures are not widely applied.
Still, more than half of all cancer cases and deaths worldwide are potentially preventable. Tobacco use, heavy use of alcohol, and obesity can be most effectively prevented through a combination of education and social policies that encourage healthy behaviors and discourage unhealthy practices.
The updated edition of the American Cancer Society’s Global Cancer Facts & Figures provides an overview of the international cancer burden, including the estimated numbers of new cancer cases and deaths worldwide and by level of economic development, as well as detailed information on select cancer sites.
The current and previous editions of American Cancer Society’s Global Cancer Facts & Figures titles have been assembled here in an electronic format (PDF) to make it easy for you to use them. In some cases, older editions of Cancer Facts & Figures publications are not available in PDF form.
Please note that any reproduction or re-use should credit the appropriate American Cancer Society Global Cancer Facts & Figures publication and include a statement of copyright and identify the data source used.
Global Cancer Facts & Figures publications are available for free download as full-text PDF files.