Global Cancer Statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries

A special study, from International Agency for Research on Cancer, have unveiled that a status report on the global burden of cancer worldwide using the GLOBOCAN 2018 estimates of cancer incidence and mortality with a focus on geographic variability across 20 world regions. lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer (11.6% of the total cases) and the leading cause of cancer death(18.4% of the total cancer deaths), closely followed by female breast cancer (11.6%), prostate cancer (7.1%), and colorectal cancer (6.1%) for incidence and colorectal cancer (9.2%), stomach cancer (8.2%), and liver cancer (8.2%) for mortality. It is noteworthy that high-quality cancer registry data, the basis for planning and implementing evidence-based cancer control programs, are not available in most low- and middle income countries.

The study have been published in the CA: Cancer J Clin.


Cancer is the first or second leading cause of death before age 70 years in 91 of 172 countries, and it ranks third or fourth in an additional 22 countries (Fig. 1).

Global Cancer Statistics 2018 1

Data Sources and Methods

The sources and methods used in compiling the estimates in GLOBOCAN 2018 are described in detail elsewhere and also are available online at the Global Cancer Observatory ( We present the incidence and mortality rates globally and for 20 aggregated regions, as defined by the United Nations Population Division


1.Distribution of Cases and Deaths by World Region and Cancer Types

We estimate that there will be 18.1 million new cases (17.0 million excluding NMSC) and 9.6 million cancer deaths (9.5 million excluding NMSC) worldwide in 2018. For both sexes combined, it is estimated that nearly one-half of the cases and over one-half of the cancer deaths in the world will occur in Asia in the year 2018, in part because close to 60% of the global population resides there. The following figure presents the distribution of all-cancer incidence and mortality according to world area for both sexes combined and separately for men and women.

Global Cancer Statistics 2018 2

2.Global Cancer Patterns

Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in 105 countries, followed by lung cancer in 37 countries, and liver cancer in 13 countries. With regard to mortality, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men in 93 countries, in part because of its high fatality rate, followed by prostate cancer (46 countries) and liver cancer (20 countries). ostate cancer (46 countries) and liver cancer (20 countries).

In women, the profile of the most commonly diagnosed cancers across countries is marked by its dichotomous nature, with female breast cancer most frequent in terms of new cases in the majority (154 countries) of countries and with cervical cancer leading in most (28 of 31 countries).

The mortality profile among women is more heterogeneous, with breast and cervical cancer as the leading causes of cancer death in 103 and 42 countries, respectively, followed by lung cancer in 28 countries.

3.Cancer Incidence and Mortality Patterns by the 4-Tier HDI(Human Development Index)

In men (Fig. 6A), lung cancer ranks first and prostate cancer ranks second in both high/very-high and low/medium HDI countries despite considerable variations in the magnitude of the incidence rates between the 2 regions. In women, incidence rates for breast cancer far exceed those for other cancers in both transitioned and transitioning countries, followed by colorectal cancer in transitioned countries, and cervical cancer in transitioning countries.

4.Cancer Incidence and Death Rates by World Region

Worldwide, the incidence rate for all cancers combined was about 20% higher in men (ASR, 218.6 per 100,000) than in women (ASR, 182.6 per 100,000), with the incidence rates varying across regions in both males and females. Similar to incidence rates, death rates for all cancers combined worldwide are nearly 50% higher in males than in females.

Launched in 2012 and led by the IARC, the Global

Initiative for Cancer Registry Development ( is a partnership of leading cancer organizations seeking to address inequities in the availability of robust cancer incidence data by radically increasing its quality, comparability, and use. Six IARC regional hubs for cancer registration have been established covering Africa, Asia, South and Central America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands that now provide the necessary technical assistance to registries through a broad set of knowledge transfer and capacity-building activities, including a train the trainer approach to teaching and the provision of site visits to countries to support local surveillance plans. If the initiative is successful, it then will lead to better global cancer estimates and, just as important, it will provide governments with the local data needed to prioritize and evaluate cancer control efforts to reduce the burden and suffering from cancer in their communities.

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[1]Global Cancer Statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries,