Global patterns of cancer incidence and mortality rates and trends

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Aug;19(8):1893-907. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-10-0437. Epub 2010 Jul 20.


While incidence and mortality rates for most cancers (including lung, colorectum, female breast, and prostate) are decreasing in the United States and many other western countries, they are increasing in several less developed and economically transitioning countries because of adoption of unhealthy western lifestyles such as smoking and physical inactivity and consumption of calorie-dense food. Indeed, the rates for lung and colon cancers in a few of these countries have already surpassed those in the United States and other western countries. Most developing countries also continue to be disproportionately affected by cancers related to infectious agents, such as cervix, liver, and stomach cancers. The proportion of new cancer cases diagnosed in less developed countries is projected to increase from about 56% of the world total in 2008 to more than 60% in 2030 because of the increasing trends in cancer rates and expected increases in life expectancy and growth of the population. In this review, we describe these changing global incidence and mortality patterns for select common cancers and the opportunities for cancer prevention in developing countries.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Developing Countries
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Mortality / trends
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / mortality