Bray F, Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I et al. (2018) Global Cancer Statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries. CA CANCER J CLIN; 68:394–424394
Using the GLOBOCAN 2018 estimates of cancer incidence and mortality produced by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the authors have reported the incidence and mortality rates of many cancers worldwide. Cancer is now estimated by the WHO to be a leading cause of death in most countries and this is predicted to rise. Cancer incidence and mortality is growing rapidly worldwide as the population grows and ages (and also as a result of the decline in cardiovascular disease) but of concern to those working in the field of cancer prevention is the change in cancer incidence in emerging countries from infection based and poverty based cancers to lifestyle based cancers due to ‘westernisation’ and socioeconomic development.
The methodology used in this study is described at the Global Cancer Observatory website (https://gco.iarc.fr/). The numbers of new cancer cases and cancer deaths were extracted from the GLOBOCAN 2018 database for all cancers combined and for 36 cancer types.
The GLOBOCAN 2018 estimates presented in this report indicate that there will be 18.1 million new cases of cancer and 9.6 million deaths from cancer in 2018. Lung, female breast, and colorectal cancers are the respective top 3 cancers worldwide in terms of incidence and within the top 5 in terms of mortality (first, fifth, and second respectively). There is however great geographical variation in the incidence and mortality of all cancers worldwide due to the impact of societal, economic, and lifestyle changes which differentially affect the profile of this complex group of diseases.
Latest estimates suggest from one-third to two-fifths of new cancer cases could be avoided by eliminating or reducing exposure to known lifestyle and environmental risk factors such as smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity etc. The relative exposure to these risk factors however will vary across the world and there is a need to tailor cancer control actions in accordance with localized patterns of risk factors and cancer burden profiles.