20 facts on cancer
1. There are more than 100 types of cancers; any part of the body can be affected.
2. In 2008, 7.6 million people died of cancer – 13% of all deaths worldwide.
3. About 70% of all cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
4. Worldwide, the 5 most common types of cancer that kill men are (in order of frequency): lung, stomach, liver, colorectal and oesophagus.
5. Worldwide, the 5 most common types of cancer that kill women are (in the order of frequency): breast, lung, stomach, colorectal and cervical. In many developing countries, cervical cancer is the most common cancer.
6. Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of cancer in the world causing 22% of cancer deaths.
7. One fifth of all cancers worldwide are caused by a chronic infection, for example human papillomavirus (HPV) causes cervical cancer and hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes liver cancer.
8. Cancers of major public health relevance such as breast, cervical and colorectal cancer can be cured if detected early and treated adequately.
9. All patients in need of pain relief could be helped if current knowledge about pain control and palliative care were applied.
10. More than 30% of cancer could be prevented, mainly by not using tobacco, having a healthy diet, being physically active and moderating the use of alcohol. In developing countries up to 20% of cancer deaths could be prevented by immunization against the infection of HBV and HPV.
11. Cancers figure among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer related deaths in 2012.
12. The number of new cases is expected to rise by about 70% over the next 2 decades.
13. Among men, the 5 most common sites of cancer diagnosed in 2012 were lung, prostate, colorectum, stomach, and liver cancer.
14. Among women the 5 most common sites diagnosed were breast, colorectum, lung, cervix, and stomach cancer.
15. Around one third of cancer deaths are due to the 5 leading behavioural and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol use.
16. Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for cancer causing around 20% of global cancer deaths and around 70% of global lung cancer deaths.
17. Cancer causing viral infections such as HBV/HCV and HPV are responsible for up to 20% of cancer deaths in low- and middle-income countries.
18. More than 60% of world’s total new annual cases occur in Africa, Asia and Central and South America. These regions account for 70% of the world’s cancer deaths.
19. It is expected that annual cancer cases will rise from 14 million in 2012 to 22 within the next 2 decades.
20. According to The Lancet series, improved rates of exclusive and continued breastfeeding could prevent: 820,000 deaths in children under 5 years annually and 20,000 additional deaths from breast cancer annually.