Global Statistics

How many people worldwide does cancer affect?
  • According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, in 2009 approximately 12.9 million people were diagnosed with cancer and by 2020 there will be an estimated 17 million new cancer cases.
  •  The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that cancer is the leading cause of death globally - it is responsible for more deaths than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined and within ten years will kill more than 10 million people annually.
What is the economic burden of cancer?
  • A report by The LIVESTRONG Foundation and the American Cancer Society showed that the economic impact of death and disability as a result of cancer worldwide in 2008 was US$ 895 billion – this is 1.5% of the entire world’s GDP.
  • ​Lost productivity as a result of time out of work because of cancer in 2009 accounted for US$69 billion.
  • The lost years of life and productivity caused by cancer actually represent the single largest drain on the global economy. This is why it is extremely important to invest in preventative cancer measures such as quality early detection and screening health services.
Are cancer rates higher in the developing world than the developing world?
  • According to the latest WHO statistics, cancer causes around 7.9 million deaths worldwide each year. Of these, around 70%, that means 5.5 million, are now occurring in the developing world.
  • If no action is taken, deaths from cancer in the developing world are forecast to grow to 6.7 million in 2015 and 8.9 million in 2030. In contrast, cancer deaths in wealthy countries are expected to remain fairly stable over the next twenty years.
  • On average, 70% of cancer patients in developing countries are diagnosed at a very late stage of cancer, when treatment is no longer effective.
  • Despite bearing 70% of the cancer burden in the coming years, the developing world will astoundingly only receive 5% of the global resources for cancer – and by some accounts as little as 2%. Clearly, this is not enough to take the action needed to combat cancer in the developing world. 
  • At the moment, most developing countries are struggling with the delivery of basic treatment, they are weighed down by the high cost of cancer drugs, and early detection and prevention programs in these countries are virtually non-existent.