A subsection of the Global Cancer Observatory (http://gco.iarc.fr)
CANCER TODAY provides data visualization tools to explore the current scale and profile of cancer using estimates of the incidence, mortality, and prevalence of 36 specific cancer types and of all cancer sites combined in 185 countries or territories of the world in 2020, by sex and age group, as part of the GLOBOCAN project.
Some features on the Global Cancer Observatory will be unavailable from 16:00 CET 26 October until 23:59 CET 5 November due to scheduled maintenance on our networks. The sites that will be affected are Cancer Today, Cancer Over Time and Cancer Tomorrow.
The features that will be unavailable are:
You can still access our sites in that time but functions will be limited.
CANCER TODAY provides a suite of data visualization tools to explore estimates of the incidence, mortality, and prevalence of 36 specific cancer types and of all cancer sites combined in 185 countries or territories of the world in 2020, by sex and age group, as part of the GLOBOCAN project. Please note that:
Design and development of the main website by Frederic Lam and Morten Ervik; development of estimates and further input from Jacques Ferlay, Isabelle Soerjomataram, Les Mery, and Freddie Bray.
The main focus of IARC’s Section of Cancer Surveillance (CSU) is the ongoing analysis of global cancer data and the development of statistics for cancer control action, in keeping with one of the primary aims of IARC: to describe and elucidate cancer occurrence worldwide. The Section coordinates the collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of indicators that capture the changing magnitude and profile of cancer by means of three essential and complementary areas of activity:
Ferlay J, Ervik M, Lam F, Colombet M, Mery L, Piñeros M, Znaor A, Soerjomataram I, Bray F (2018). Global Cancer Observatory: Cancer Today. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer. Available from: https://gco.iarc.fr/today, accessed [DD Month YYYY].
Bray F, Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Siegel RL, Torre LA, Jemal A (2018). Global cancer statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries. CA Cancer J Clin. 68(6):394–424. https://doi.org/10.3322/caac.21492 PMID:30207593
Ferlay J, Colombet M, Soerjomataram I, Mathers C, Parkin DM, Piñeros M, Znaor A, Bray F (2019). Estimating the global cancer incidence and mortality in 2018: GLOBOCAN sources and methods. Int J Cancer. 144(8):1941–1953. https://doi.org/10.1002/ijc.31937 PMID:30350310
IARC’s Section of Cancer Surveillance (CSU) compiles, analyses, interprets, and disseminates data on global cancer indicators to document the changing scale, epidemiological profile, and impact of the disease. The Section publishes a wide range of international research papers examining the descriptive epidemiology of cancer. CSU also works alongside national staff to improve the local data quality, registry coverage, and analytical capacity of population-based cancer registries. You can read more about the work of CSU at the IARC website (http://www.iarc.fr/en/research-groups/sec1/index.php).
For a quick access to a summary of the burden of cancer in a country or for a cancer, use the fact sheets pages. Fact Sheets are a collection of statistical summaries for the eight most common cancer types or for each country or region of the world. They were developed to provide a quick overview of frequently-requested cancer incidence, mortality and prevalence statistics.
Cancer registry data are essential for global and national cancer control planning. Close cooperation with population-based cancer registries (PBCRs) around the world is an essential aspect of our work, and IARC’s Section of Cancer Surveillance (CSU) serves as the Secretariat for the International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR), working closely with this umbrella organization as well as with individual registries on collaborative projects, including Cancer Incidence in Five Continents (CI5).
The International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR) is a professional society of population-based cancer registries. IACR’s 500 member registries are at the forefront of the development and application of cancer registration to inform local cancer control approaches and to build cancer research opportunities. You can read more about the IACR at the association’s website (http://www.iacr.com.fr/).
The Global Initiative for Cancer Registry Development (GICR) is a partnership based on a commitment from key international organizations to address inequities by helping underserved countries prevent cancer and improve outcomes. Coordinated by IARC, the GICR is the first global strategy for strengthening the ability to collect, analyse, and disseminate cancer data. You can read more about the GICR at the initiative’s website (http://gicr.iarc.fr).
An alphanumeric scoring system, shown below, is used to independently describe the availability of incidence and mortality data at the country level. The combined score is presented together with the estimates for each country, to provide a broad indication of the robustness of the estimation.
*Data included in Cancer Incidence in Five Continents (CI5), Volume IXa and/or Xb.
aCurado MP, Edwards B, Shin HR, Storm H, Ferlay J, Heanue M, et al., editors (2007). Cancer incidence in five continents, Vol. IX. IARC Scientific Publication No. 160. Lyon: International Agency for Research on Cancer.
bForman D, Bray F, Brewster DH, Gombe Mbalawa C, Kohler B, Piñeros M, et al., editors (2013). Cancer incidence in five continents, Vol. X. IARC Scientific Publication No. 164. Lyon: International Agency for Research on Cancer.
National statistics are collated and made available by the World Health Organization for countries with vital registration systems.
*Criteria defined in: Mathers CD, Ma Fat D, Inoue M, Rao C, Lopez AD (2005). Counting the dead and what they died from: an assessment of the global status of cause of death data. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 83(3):161–240.
The methods of estimation are country-specific, and the quality of each estimation depends on the quality and amount of the information available that each country.
In theory, there are as many methods as countries, and because of the variety and complexity of these methods, an overall quality score for the incidence and mortality estimates combined is almost impossible to determine.
The methods used to estimate the sex- and age-specific incidence rates of cancer in a specific country fall into the following broad categories, in order of priority:
Depending of the degree of detail and the accuracy of the national mortality data, one of the following six methods was used, in order of priority:
The sources and methods used to estimate the global incidence and mortality in 2012, in addition to a brief description of the key results by cancer site and in 20 large areas of the world, can be found in Ferlay et al. (2015)a. A further assessment of the methods has also been described by Antoni et al. (2016)b.
The sex- and cancer-specific 1-, 3-, and 5-year prevalence estimates for 2012 were computed by multiplying the corresponding estimates for 2008c by the ratios of the estimated number of incident cases in 2012 in the adult population to the corresponding estimated number of cases for 2008.
aFerlay J, Soerjomataram I, Dikshit R, Eser S, Mathers C, Rebelo M, et al. (2015). Cancer incidence and mortality worldwide: sources, methods and major patterns in GLOBOCAN 2012. Int J Cancer. 136(5):E359–86. PMID:25220842
bAntoni S, Soerjomataram I, Møller B, Bray F, Ferlay J (2016). An assessment of GLOBOCAN methods for deriving national estimates of cancer incidence. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 94:174–84. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2471/BLT.15.164384
cBray F, Ren JS, Masuyer E, Ferlay J. Estimates of global cancer prevalence for 27 sites in the adult population in 2008. Int J Cancer. 2013 Mar 1;132(5):1133-45. doi: 10.1002/ijc.27711. Epub 2012 Jul 26.