Global Cancer Statistics Report Provides Insights into Cancer Incidence and Mortality


The Global Cancer Statistics, 2024, report from the American Cancer Society sheds light on worldwide cancer facts, identifying trends and making predictions for the future.

Hyuna Sung, PhD

Hyuna Sung, PhD

The American Cancer Society released its Global Cancer Statistics, 2024, report which estimates that approximately 20 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2022 and approximately 9.7 million individuals died from cancer during that time. Moreover, the number of global cancer cases is predicted to reach 35 million by 2050.1

Additional findings from the report demonstrated that approximately 1 in 5 individuals develop cancer in their lifetime, with approximately 1 in 9 men and 1 in 12 women dying from the disease. The most frequently diagnosed cancer in 2022 was lung cancer, with 2.5 million new cases accounting for 12.4% of all new cancer diagnoses in 2022. Other commonly diagnosed cancers in 2022 included female breast (11.6%), colorectal (9.6%), prostate (7.3%), and stomach (4.9%). The leading cancers in the 2022 cancer mortality rate included lung (18.7%), colorectal (9.3%), liver (7.8%), female breast (6.9%), and stomach (6.8%) cancers.2

“This rise in projected cancer cases by 2050 is solely due to the aging and growth of the population, assuming current incidence rates remain unchanged,” Hyuna Sung, PhD, senior principal scientist, cancer surveillance research at the American Cancer Society, and coauthor of the report said in a press release. “Notably, the prevalence of major risk factors such as consumption of [an] unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, heavy alcohol consumption, and cigarette smoking are increasing in many parts of the world and will likely exacerbate the future burden of cancer barring any large scale interventions.”1

To compile the report, the authors pulled data from the GLOBOCAN database. The national estimates are constructed from the best available sources within each country, which can vary between nations. Investigators used methods that emphasized the use of short-term predictions and the use of modeled mortality-to-incidence ratios, where applicable. Estimates were available for 36 cancer types; cancer-specific estimates were provided for 185 countries or territories.2

Report authors also collected incidence and mortality burden indicators across 20 aggregated regions defined by the United Nations Population Division for the 10 leading cancer types. For direct standardization, age-standardized incidence and mortality rates per 100,000 person-years based on the 1966 Segi–Doll World standard population and the cumulative risk of developing or dying from cancer before age 75 years expressed as a percentage were calculated for each region. Additionally, a prediction of the future cancer burden was calculated for the year 2050 based on demographic projections.

Data from the report also revealed 49.2% of all cancer cases and 56.1% of all cancer deaths were estimated to have occurred in Asia, where 59.2% of the world’s population resides, in 2022. Despite representing just 9.6% of the global population, Europe accounted for 22.4% of global cancer cases and 20.4% of global cancer deaths.

Generally, the risk of developing cancer increases with an increasing Human Development Index (HDI) level. The cumulative risk of developing cancer in men from high and very high HDI settings was approximately 60% higher than that in low or medium HDI settings, which was approximately 12.5% and 8.0%, respectively. However, the cumulative risk of cancer death in women from low HDI settings (8.8%) vs very high HDI settings (8.2%) was comparable.

The combined incidence rate for all cancers globally for men compared with women was 212.5 per 100,000 individuals vs 186.2 per 100,000 individuals, respectively. Among men, incidence rates varied from 507.9 per 100,000 individuals in Australia/New Zealand to 97.1 per 100,000 individuals in Western Africa. Similarly, among women, the incidence rates varied from 410.5 per 100,000 individuals in Australia/New Zealand to 103.3 per 100,000 individuals in South-Central Asia. The authors noted that the regional variations reflect differences in underlying exposure to the dominant risk factors for the major cancers, the distribution of associated cancer types, and barriers to effective prevention, early detection, and curative treatment.

“With more than half of cancer deaths worldwide being potentially preventable, prevention offers the most cost-effective and sustainable strategy for cancer control,” Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PhD, senior vice president of surveillance & health equity science at the American Cancer Society and senior author of the study said in the news release. “Elimination of tobacco use alone could prevent 1 in 4 cancer deaths or approximately 2.6 million cancer deaths annually.”1

“Understanding the global cancer burden is critical to ensuring everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer,” Karen E. Knudsen, PhD, MBA, CEO of the American Cancer Society added in the press release. “This data provides insight into trends and potential areas for intervention and can help prioritize discovery efforts worldwide. By funding research, advocating for change, and directly supporting patients, together we can make a durable impact on the more than 200 diseases we call cancer.”


  1. American Cancer Society releases latest global cancer statistics; Cancer cases expected to rise to 35 million worldwide by 2050. News release. The American Cancer Society. April 4, 2024. Accessed April 8, 2024.
  2. Bray F, Laversanne M, Sung H, et al. Global cancer statistics 2022: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries. CA Cancer J Clin. Published online April 4, 2024. doi:10.3322/caac.21834
Related Videos
Nidia Zapata, MD
Nidia Zapata, MD
Arndt Vogel, MD
Nicole Rich, MD
Ivan Marazzi, PhD, an associate professor at Mount Sinai,
Kelly de Ligt, PhD
Chau T. Dang, MD
Samuel Ahuno discusses bringing precision medicine in cancer care to Ghana.
Paz Polak, PhD, discusses research that evaluated cancer genomes in Ghana through the use of liquid biopsies.
Michele Ghidini, MD, PhD