Estimating the global burden of cancer in 2013; 14.9 million new cases worldwide

Researchers from around the world have worked together to try to measure the global burden of cancer and they estimate there were 14.9 million new cases of cancer, 8.2 million deaths and 196.3 million years of a healthy life lost in 2013, according to a Special Communication published online by JAMA Oncology.

The Global Burden of Disease study by the Global Burden of Disease Cancer Collaboration group provides a comprehensive assessment of new cancer cases (incidence), and cancer-related death and disability. Researchers relied on cancer registries, vital records, verbal autopsy reports and other sources for cause-of-death data in their study of 28 cancers in 188 countries from 1990 to 2013. The authors acknowledge that cancer registry and vital records registry data are sparse in many countries.

Overall results indicate that from 1990 to 2013, the proportion of cancer deaths as part of all deaths increased from 12 percent in 1990 to 15 percent in 2013. Between 1990 and 2013, lost years of healthy life (disability-adjusted life years, DALYs) due to all cancers for both men and women increased by 29 percent globally.

Men were more likely to develop cancer between birth and age 79, with 1 in 3 men and 1 and 5 women developing cancer worldwide. Tracheal, bronchus and lung (TBL) cancer was the leading cause for cancer death in men and women with 1.6 million deaths. For women, breast cancer was the leading cause of lost years of healthy life globally and for men it was lung cancer, according to the study.

More information on the Top 10 cancers ranked by the highest number of new cases globally in 2013:

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