Key facts about cancer
- Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide: it accounted for 7.6 million deaths (around 13% of all deaths) in 2008.
- Lung, stomach, liver, colon and breast cancer cause the most cancer deaths each year.
- The most frequent types of cancer differ between men and women.
- About 30% of cancer deaths is due to the five leading behavioral and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, physical inactivity, tobacco use, alcohol use and is therefore preventable.
- Cancer causing infections such as HBV and HCV, HPV are responsible for 20% of cancer deaths in low and middle income countries and 7 % in high income countries.
- Tobacco use is the single most important risk factor for cancer causing 22% of global cancer deaths and 71% of global lung cancer deaths.
- Cancer arises from a change in one single cell. The change may be started by external agents and inherited genetic factors.
- About 72% of all cancer deaths in 2008 occurred in low- and middle-income countries.
- Deaths from cancer worldwide are projected to continue rising, with an estimated 12 million deaths in 2030.