May 26, 2024

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Global Cancer Burden: Lung Cancer Regains Top Spot

Global Cancer Burden: Lung Cancer Regains Top Spot Approaching Ten Million Deaths Annually



Global Cancer Burden: Lung Cancer Regains Top Spot Approaching Ten Million Deaths Annually

Lung Cancer Regains Top Spot Globally! Latest Cancer Burden Data Released, Global Cancer Deaths Approach Ten Million.

On April 4, 2024, CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians released the latest 2022 global cancer burden data. The newest data shows that lung cancer has surpassed breast cancer, reclaiming its position as the world’s leading cancer.

 

Global Cancer Burden: Lung Cancer Regains Top Spot Approaching Ten Million Deaths Annually

 

 

According to the latest assessment data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization, in 2022, there were 19.96 million new cancer cases globally, with 9.74 million cancer deaths. The assessment results indicate that approximately one in five men or women will develop cancer in their lifetime, and about one in nine men and one in twelve women will die from cancer.

In 2022, lung cancer saw 2.48 million new cases, accounting for 12.4% of the total global cancer incidence, reclaiming its position as the world’s leading cancer. This was followed by female breast cancer (11.6%), colorectal cancer (9.6%), prostate cancer (7.3%), and stomach cancer (4.9%).

Lung cancer is also a major cause of cancer death, with an estimated 1.8 million deaths in 2022, accounting for 18.7% of the total global cancer deaths. This was followed by colorectal cancer (9.3%), liver cancer (7.8%), female breast cancer (6.9%), and stomach cancer (6.8%).

Breast cancer and lung cancer are the most common cancers in women and men, respectively. The differences in cancer incidence rates vary 4-5 times globally, with the highest male cancer incidence rate in Australia/New Zealand at 507.9 cases per 100,000 people, and the lowest in West Africa at less than 100 cases per 100,000 people. The highest female cancer incidence rate is in Australia/New Zealand at 410.5 cases per 100,000 people, and the lowest is in South Asia at 103.3 cases per 100,000 people.

Population-based forecasts suggest that the number of new cancer cases will reach 35 million by 2050. Prevention measures targeting key cancer risk factors such as smoking, overweight and obesity, and infections can prevent millions of future cancers and save many lives, bringing significant economic and social dividends to countries in the coming decades.

 

Global Cancer Situation

In 2022, there were a total of 19.96 million new cancer cases globally (including non-melanoma skin cancer cases of 1.23 million) and 9.74 million cancer deaths (including non-melanoma skin cancer deaths of 70,000).

It is estimated that nearly half (49.2%) of the world’s new cancer cases and the majority of cancer deaths (56.1%) occurred in Asia, where the population accounts for 59.2% of the global total. The disproportionate burden of cancer deaths in Africa and Asia compared to the corresponding incidence burden is partly due to late cancer diagnosis in these regions. Europe’s cancer incidence and mortality rates are disproportionately high compared to its population, accounting for 9.6% of the global population but 22.4% of new cases and 20.4% of deaths.

The top ten cancers in terms of new cases in 2022 were lung cancer (2.48 million, 12.4%), female breast cancer (2.31 million, 11.6%), colorectal cancer (1.93 million, 9.6%), prostate cancer (1.47 million, 7.3%), stomach cancer (0.97 million, 4.9%), liver cancer (0.865 million, 4.3%), thyroid cancer (0.82 million, 4.1%), cervical cancer (0.66 million, 3.3%), bladder cancer (0.61 million, 3.1%), and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (0.55 million, 2.8%).

The top ten cancers in terms of deaths in 2022 were lung cancer (1.82 million, 18.7%), colorectal cancer (0.9 million, 9.3%), liver cancer (0.76 million, 7.8%), female breast cancer (0.67 million, 6.9%), stomach cancer (0.66 million, 6.8%), pancreatic cancer (0.47 million, 4.8%), esophageal cancer (0.445 million, 4.6%), prostate cancer (0.4 million, 4.1%), cervical cancer (0.35 million, 3.6%), and leukemia (0.305 million, 3.1%).

By gender, the top ten cancers in terms of new cases in males were lung cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, bladder cancer, esophageal cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, and kidney cancer. The top ten cancers in terms of deaths in males were lung cancer, liver cancer, colorectal cancer, stomach cancer, prostate cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, leukemia, bladder cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

By gender, the top ten cancers in terms of new cases in females were breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, thyroid cancer, endometrial cancer, stomach cancer, ovarian cancer, liver cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The top ten cancers in terms of deaths in females were breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, leukemia, and esophageal cancer.

 

Global Cancer Distribution

The major types of cancer vary widely among 185 countries and regions. In males, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in 118 countries, followed by lung cancer in 33 countries, and liver, colorectal, and stomach cancers in 11, 9, and 8 countries, respectively. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in 89 countries, followed by prostate and liver cancers in 52 and 24 countries, respectively.

In contrast, breast cancer is the most common cancer in females in 157 countries, followed by cervical cancer in 25 countries. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in 112 countries, followed by cervical and lung cancers in 37 and 23 countries, respectively.

Only three countries have a leading female cancer incidence that is neither breast nor cervical cancer. In China and North Korea, the leading female cancer incidence is lung cancer, while in Mongolia, it is liver cancer.

 

Global Cancer Risk

In 2022, the global cancer incidence rate was 212.5 cases per 100,000 males and 186.2 cases per 100,000 females. However, the cancer incidence risk varies 4-5 times between different countries and regions. The highest male cancer incidence rate is in Australia/New Zealand at 507.9 cases per 100,000 people, while the lowest is in West Africa at 97.1 cases per 100,000 people. The highest female cancer incidence rate is in Australia/New Zealand at 410.5 cases per 100,000 people, while the lowest is in South Asia at 103.3 cases per 100,000 people.

The global cancer death rate is 109.7 cases per 100,000 males and 76.8 cases per 100,000 females. The highest male cancer death rate is in Central America at 68.9 cases per 100,000 people, while the highest is in Eastern Europe at 159.6 cases per 100,000 people. The lowest female cancer death rate is in Central America and South Asia at approximately 63 cases per 100,000 people, while the highest is in Melanesia at 115.7 cases per 100,000 people.

 

China’s Cancer Statistics

The paper also categorized cancer incidence and mortality by four levels of Human Development Index (HDI) – very high, high, medium, and low – and separately for China and India due to their significantly larger populations compared to other countries.

Lung cancer is the most common cancer globally and in China. However, after HDI classification, breast cancer is the most common cancer in all HDI countries and is the most common cancer in India. Colorectal cancer ranks among the top five in both new cases and deaths in all HDI countries but not in India. Cervical cancer ranks among the top five in new cases and deaths in medium and low HDI countries and in India.

Although the top five cancers account for more than two-thirds of China’s cancer death burden, these five most common cancers often explain 40%-50% of the incidence and mortality burden in fourth-level HDI countries, China, and India.

In China, there were approximately 4.8 million new cancer cases in 2022 (accounting for 24% of the global total) and about 2.6 million cancer deaths (accounting for 26.7% of the global total). The top five cancers in terms of new cases were lung cancer, colorectal cancer, thyroid cancer, liver cancer, and breast cancer, which accounted for 57.5% of all new cancer cases. The top five cancers in terms of deaths were lung cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, and esophageal cancer, which accounted for 67.5% of all cancer deaths.

Compared to the 2020 data, China’s cancer incidence rate is increasing, while the death rate is significantly decreasing.

From a global perspective, the risk of developing cancer often increases with higher HDI levels. For example, the cumulative risk of developing cancer before the age of 75 in males increased from about 10% in low HDI countries to over 30% in very high HDI countries in 2022. However, the risk of cancer death varies less with HDI level.

In China, the cancer incidence rate is 209.6 cases per 100,000 males, with a cumulative risk of developing cancer before the age of 75 of 21.79%. The cancer incidence rate for females is 197.0 cases per 100,000, with a cumulative risk of 19.29%. The cancer death rate for males is 127.5 cases per 100,000, with a cumulative risk of 13.5%. The cancer death rate for females is 67.8 cases per 100,000, with a cumulative risk of 7.1%.

 

Forecast for Cancer Burden in 2050

Based on population growth and aging trends, assuming that the overall cancer incidence rate remains unchanged, it is predicted that there will be over 35 million new cancer cases in 2050, an increase of 77% from 2022’s 20 million cases. Demographic transition is a key driver of cancer burden, with the global population estimated at about 8 billion in 2022 and expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

Although the absolute differences in the forecasted cancer burden in 2050 are greatest in high HDI countries (including China) and very high HDI countries, the largest relative increases are expected in medium and low HDI countries. The cancer burden in low HDI countries is expected to increase significantly by 142% (from 800,000 in 2022 to 2 million in 2050), and nearly 100% in medium HDI countries (from 2.4 million in 2020 to 4.8 million in 2050), including India.

Overall, the 2022 global statistics show that there were approximately 20 million new cancer cases and nearly 10 million cancer deaths worldwide. Population-based forecasts suggest that by 2050, the annual number of cancer cases will reach 35 million, an increase of 77% from 2022. The overall scale of cancer and the diversity of cancer distribution worldwide and by human development level underscore the need for targeted cancer control measures globally. In terms of prevention, investments in key cancer risk factors (including smoking, overweight/obesity, and infections) can prevent millions of future cancers and save many lives, bringing significant economic and social dividends to countries in the coming decades.

Paper Links:

https://doi.org/10.3322/caac.21660

https://doi.org/10.3322/caac.21834

Global Cancer Burden: Lung Cancer Regains Top Spot Approaching Ten Million Deaths Annually


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