Most common cancers across the globe
Cancer is a word no one wants to hear , whether it ’ s spoken by a doctor in an exam room or from a friend or family member who has come home from routine testing . But it ’ s a word far too many individuals hear every day .
The World Health Organization says cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide , having accounted for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020 , or roughly one out of six deaths . The World Cancer Research Fund estimates there were 18 million cancer cases around the world in 2020 , and certain cancers are more prevalent than others .
Breast cancer and lung cancer
Breast cancer and lung cancer are two of the most common cancers across the globe . Some sources indicate breast cancer is the most common cancer globally , while others cite lung cancer as the most common . Regardless of which form of the disease has earned that dubious distinction , there ’ s no denying both cancers are prevalent . In fact , the American Institute for Cancer Research reports that breast and lung cancers contributed to 12.5 percent and 12.2 percent , respectively , of all new diagnoses in 2020 .
At just over 1 million cases in 2020 , stomach cancer is another global cancer threat . Stomach cancer represents around 6 percent of all cancers and also is relatively high on the list of cancers that are most fatal , according to the WCRF .
While these are the most common cancers across the globe , the WHO reports that lung cancer causes the most cancer deaths worldwide .
Any cancer is much more manageable if detected early , which underscores the importance of routine physical exams and maintaining a dialogue with doctors if any symptom seems out of the ordinary . Many cancers also can be avoided if people refrain from common risk factors , including smoking , excessive alcohol consumption , poor diets , and sedentary lifestyles .
Cancers that impact the rectum and colon are prolific worldwide . According to the WHO , these cancers caused 916,000 deaths in 2020 . Risk factors for colorectal cancer include inflammatory intestinal conditions , obesity , age , and diabetes .
Prostate cancer is exclusive to men because the prostate is a small gland found only in men that sits just below the bladder in front of the rectum . The health organization Let ’ s Get Checked says the risk of prostate cancer tends to increase as men age . While prostate cancer is slow-growing and tends to be highly treatable , it also is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among American men . The WHO says prostate cancer numbers in 2020 hovered around 1.4 million cases .
Skin cancer ( non-melanoma ) is the next most prevalent cancer worldwide . Unlike melanoma , non-melanoma skin cancer does not typically cause high numbers of fatalities . Exposure to UV radiation through natural sunlight and tanning beds is the highest risk factor for skin cancer .
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