The Top 5 Most Frequent Cancers in Females Worldwide

  Cancer Type Incidence Rate
(per 100,000 persons)
% of World Total
1 Breast cancer 1,383,523 39.0 22.9%
2 Colorectum cancer 570,099 14.6 9.4%
3 Cervix cancer 529,828 15.3 8.8%
4 Lung cancer 513,637 13.5 8.5%
5 Stomach cancer 349,042 9.1 5.8%
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 Facts
  1. An estimated 1.3 million new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to occur among women in 2007. Worldwide, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women. Female breast cancer incidence rates for 2002 vary internationally by more than 25-fold, ranging from 3.9 cases per 100,000 in Mozambique to 101.1 in the United States. This in part reflects low screening rates and incomplete reporting in developing countries. North America, Australia, and Northern and Western Europe have the highest incidence of breast cancer; intermediate levels are reported in Eastern Europe. Large parts of Africa and Asia have the lowest rates. (a.)
  2. Women who have a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) with a history of breast cancer have about twice the risk of developing breast cancer compared to women who do not have a family history. (a.)
  3. One in eight deaths worldwide is due to cancer. Worldwide, cancer causes more deaths than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in economically developed countries (following heart diseases) and the third leading cause of death in developing countries (following heart diseases and diarrhoeal diseases). The burden of cancer is increasing in developing countries as childhood mortality and deaths from infectious diseases decline and more people live to older ages. Further, as people in developing countries adopt western lifestyle behaviours, such as cigarette smoking, higher consumption of saturated fat and calorie-dense foods, and reduced physical activity, rates of cancers common in western countries will rise if preventive measures are not widely applied. (a.)
  4. In economically developed countries, the three most commonly diagnosed cancers are prostate, lung and bronchus, and colorectal among men and breast, colorectal, and lung and bronchus among women. In economically developing countries, the three most commonly diagnosed cancers are lung and bronchus, stomach, and liver in men, and breast, cervix uteri, and stomach in women. In both economically developed and developing countries, the three most common cancer sites are also the three leading causes of cancer death. (a.)
  5. Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. If the spread is not controlled, it can result in death. Cancer is caused by both external factors (tobacco, chemicals, radiation, and infectious organisms) and internal factors (inherited mutations, hormones, immune conditions, and mutations that occur from metabolism). These causal factors may act together or in sequence to initiate or promote carcinogenesis. (a.)
Top 5 facts sources:
  1. The American Cancer Society. (2007). "Global Cancer Facts & Figures 2007" (pages 1-10). Retrieved December 9th, 2010.
Tags: Health Statistics, Top 5 Most, Cancer statistics

Sources:  GLOBOCAN 2008, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 10 [Internet]. Last accessed by top 5 of Anything: Dec 9th, 2010.

List Notes: List is ranked by number of deaths. Data is estimated for the year 2008 in 182 countries worldwide. Cancer rate is the number of female deaths per 100,000 persons per year and is age-standardized. An age-standardized rate is the rate that a population would have if it had a standard age structure. Standardization is necessary when comparing several populations that differ with respect to age because age has a powerful influence on the risk of cancer. Percentage of total is percentage of global cancer deaths. Data excludes non-melanoma skin cancer.
Most Frequent Cancers in Females Worldwide

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