The global decrease in cancer mortality: Trends and disparities

Dana Hashim, P. Boffetta, C. La Vecchia, M. Rota, P. Bertuccio, M. Malvezzi, E. Negri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: A decrease in cancer mortality has been reported in the United States, Europe, and other high-income regions during the last two decades. Whether similar trends apply to low-to-middle income countries-and globally-is unclear. Design: The aim of this descriptive study is to compare cancer mortality in all countries with high- or intermediate-quality data on death certificates according to the World Health Organization (WHO) mortality database for the years 2000 through 2010. We included 60 countries in the analysis and calculated age-adjusted mortality rates for all cancer combined and for the commonest cancers worldwide: lung, stomach, breast, colorectal, uterine, and prostate. Results: A decrease in overall cancer mortality rate of ~1% per year was observed in higher and lower income regions and in both sexes. In 2010, 696 000 cancer deaths were avoided on a global scale compared with 2000 rates (426 000 in men, 271 000 in women). However, the mortality of liver cancer in both sexes and lung cancer in females increased in many countries'. Conclusions: The individual risk of dying from cancer decreased in all countries with reliable data. This decrease was chiefly due to favorable trends in the commonest specific cancers. Liver cancer in both sexes and lung cancer in women, which show increasing mortality rates, constitute a priority for prevention and further research.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbermdw051
Pages (from-to)926-933
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2016


  • Cancer
  • Data collection/standards
  • Global health
  • Mortality
  • Registries/standards
  • Vital statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology


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