Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 65 (2), 87-108

Global Cancer Statistics, 2012


Global Cancer Statistics, 2012

Lindsey A Torre et al. CA Cancer J Clin.


Cancer constitutes an enormous burden on society in more and less economically developed countries alike. The occurrence of cancer is increasing because of the growth and aging of the population, as well as an increasing prevalence of established risk factors such as smoking, overweight, physical inactivity, and changing reproductive patterns associated with urbanization and economic development. Based on GLOBOCAN estimates, about 14.1 million new cancer cases and 8.2 million deaths occurred in 2012 worldwide. Over the years, the burden has shifted to less developed countries, which currently account for about 57% of cases and 65% of cancer deaths worldwide. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among males in both more and less developed countries, and has surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death among females in more developed countries; breast cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death among females in less developed countries. Other leading causes of cancer death in more developed countries include colorectal cancer among males and females and prostate cancer among males. In less developed countries, liver and stomach cancer among males and cervical cancer among females are also leading causes of cancer death. Although incidence rates for all cancers combined are nearly twice as high in more developed than in less developed countries in both males and females, mortality rates are only 8% to 15% higher in more developed countries. This disparity reflects regional differences in the mix of cancers, which is affected by risk factors and detection practices, and/or the availability of treatment. Risk factors associated with the leading causes of cancer death include tobacco use (lung, colorectal, stomach, and liver cancer), overweight/obesity and physical inactivity (breast and colorectal cancer), and infection (liver, stomach, and cervical cancer). A substantial portion of cancer cases and deaths could be prevented by broadly applying effective prevention measures, such as tobacco control, vaccination, and the use of early detection tests.

Keywords: cancer; epidemiology; health disparities; incidence; survival.

Similar articles

  • Global Cancer Statistics
    A Jemal et al. CA Cancer J Clin 61 (2), 69-90. PMID 21296855.
    The global burden of cancer continues to increase largely because of the aging and growth of the world population alongside an increasing adoption of cancer-causing behav …
  • Cancer Incidence and Mortality Patterns in Europe: Estimates for 40 Countries in 2012
    J Ferlay et al. Eur J Cancer 49 (6), 1374-403. PMID 23485231.
    These up-to-date estimates of the cancer burden in Europe alongside the description of the varying distribution of common cancers at both the regional and country level p …
  • Epidemiology of Cancer in the United States
    JL Cresanta. Prim Care 19 (3), 419-41. PMID 1410056. - Review
    Malignant neoplasms are responsible for more than half a million deaths annually and 22.5% of all deaths in the United States. Cancer is the second leading cause of death …
  • [Body Mass Index and Cancer Incidence:a Prospective Cohort Study in Northern China]
    L Guo et al. Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi 35 (3), 231-6. PMID 24831616.
    The association between BMI and cancer incidence varied by cancer site. Underweight increased the risk of gastric cancer and liver cancer in males, and obesity increased …
  • Global Patterns of Cancer Incidence and Mortality Rates and Trends
    A Jemal et al. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 19 (8), 1893-907. PMID 20647400. - Review
    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 …
See all similar articles

Cited by 9,105 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

MeSH terms

LinkOut - more resources