In 2012, the National Central Cancer Registry (NCCR) of China collected cancer registration information for the year 2009 from local cancer registries and analyzed it to describe the incidences and mortalities of cancers in China. Based on the data quality criteria from NCCR, data from 104 registries covering 85,470,522 people (57,489,009 in urban areas and 27,981,513 in rural areas) were checked and evaluated. The data from 72 registries were qualified and accepted for the cancer registry annual report in 2012. The total cancer incident cases and cancer deaths were 244,366 and 154,310, respectively. The morphologically verified cases accounted for 67.23%, and 3.14% of the incident cases only had information from death certifications. The crude incidence in the Chinese cancer registration areas was 285.91/100,000 (317.97/100,000 in males and 253.09/100,000 in females). The age-standardized rates for incidences based on the Chinese standard population (ASRIC) and the world standard population (ASRIW) were 146.87/100,000 and 191.72/100,000, respectively, with a cumulative incidence of 22.08%. The cancer mortality in the Chinese cancer registration areas was 180.54/100,000 (224.20/100,000 in males and 135.85/100,000 in females). The age-standardized rates for mortalities based on the Chinese standard population(ASRMC) and the world standard population (ASRMW) were 85.06/100,000 and 115.65/100,000, respectively, and the cumulative mortality was 12.94%. Lung cancer, gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, liver cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, encephaloma, lymphoma, female breast cancer, and cervical cancer were the most common cancers, accounting for 75% of all cancer cases. Lung cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, esophageal cancer, colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, encephaloma, leukemia, and lymphoma accounted for 80% of all cancer deaths. The cancer registration's population coverage has been increasing, and its data quality is improving. As the basis of the cancer control program, the cancer registry plays an important role in directing anticancer strategies in the medium and long term. Because cancer burdens are different in urban and rural areas in China, prevention and control efforts should be based on practical situations.