Cancer will kill 9.6 million people globally in 2018: report

Access to the comments Comments
By Alice Tidey
Cancer will kill 9.6 million people globally in 2018: report

An estimated 9.6 million people will die from cancer worldwide in 2018, according to the latest figures from the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The research agency, part of the UN and World Health Organization, estimated in its latest annual GLOBOCAN report that cancer will account for one in eight deaths among men and one in 11 among women. It also expected the cancer burden to rise to 18.1 million new cases.

The IARC estimated that there had been 8.2 million cancer-related deaths in 2012 and 14.1 million new cases.

Population growth, ageing as well as social and economic development are among the factors behind the increasing cancer burden, according to the agency.

Cancer around the world

No region will be spared from the increase but Asia is to be the most impacted, accounting for nearly 60% of deaths and just under half of new cases. The region, the IARC highlighted, has nearly 60% of the global population.

Despite being home to just 9% of the global population, Europe is to account for 23.4% of new cases and 20.3% of cancer deaths, followed by the Americas where 21.0% of global incidence and 14.4% of mortality will occur.

The agency also explained that in rapidly growing economies, a shift from cancers related to poverty and infections to cancer associated with lifestyles more typical of industrialised countries is observed.

Furthermore, it underscored that in contrast to other regions, the proportions of cancer deaths in Asia and Africa are higher than the proportions of incident cases. That's due to a higher frequency of harder-to-detect cancer types and limited access to timely diagnosis and treatment.

Cancer deaths and incidence around the world.GLOBOCAN 2018

Major cancer types in 2018

Lung cancer is expected to be the deadliest type of the disease in 2018 and claim the lives of 1.8 million people. Bowel, stomach, liver and breast cancer complete the top five.

Together, lung, breast and bowel cancer will account for a third of all new cases and deaths.

Although a leader in terms of new cases (2.1 million incidence, on par with lung cancer), female breast cancer comes in fifth in mortality because the prognosis is relatively favourable, particularly in developed countries.

"These new figures highlight that much remains to be done to address the alarming rise in the cancer burden globally and that prevention has a key role to play," IARC director, Christopher Wild, said in the report.

"Efficient prevention and early detection policies must be implemented urgently to complement treatments in order to control this devastating disease across the world," he added.