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10 Facts About Cancer


Cancer affects everyone – the young and old, the rich and poor, men, women and children – and represents a tremendous burden on patients, families and societies. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world.


Yet, many of these deaths can be avoided. Between 30-50% of cancers are preventable by healthy lifestyle choices such as avoidance of tobacco and public health measures like immunization against cancer causing infections. Others can be detected early, treated and cured. Even with late stage cancer, the suffering of patients should be relieved with good palliative care.


Now let's take a look at the 10 facts about cancer which are summarized by WHO after statistical analysis.


Fact 1: About 16% of people die from cancer

In 2015, 8.8 million people died from cancer-nearly 1 in 6 global deaths.


Fact 2: Cancer affects everyone

About 70% of all deaths from cancer occur in low-and middle-income countries.


Fact 3: Top 5 types of cancer killing men

Worldwide, in 2015, the 5 most common types of cancer that kill men are (in the order of frequency): lung, liver, stomach, colorectal, and prostate cancers.


Fact 4: Top 5 types of cancer killing women

Worldwide, in 2015, the 5 most common types of cancer that kill women are (in the order of frequency): breast, lung, colorectal, cervical and stomach cancers.


Fact 5: Not using tobacco can help prevent cancer

Between 30%-50% of cancers are preventable. Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of cancer in the world, and is responsible for approximately 22% of all cancer-related deaths.


Fact 6: Vaccination against caner-causing infections

In 2012, cancer-causing infections were responsible for up to 25% of newly diagnosed cancer cases in low-and middle-income countries. Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes cervical cancer, and hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes liver cancer. Vaccination against two viruses could prevent 1.1 million cancer cases each year.


Fact 7: Access to cancer treatment in low-income countries is low

In 2015, less than 30% of low-income countries reported treatment services were generally available, compared to more than 90% of high-income countries.


Fact 8: Cancer creates significant burden on global economy

The economic impact of cancer is significant and is increasing. The total annual economic cost of cancer in 2010 was estimated at approximately US$ 1.6 trillion.


Fact 9: Palliative care

Worldwide, only about 14% pf people who need palliative care currently receive it.


Fact 10: Lack of data disables cancer policies

Only one in five low-and middle-income countries have the necessary data to drive cancer policy.

Information comes from WHO