50 Cancer Statistics That Will Leave You Speechless

Cancer Statistics

There is a good chance that you know someone who is struggling with this deadly disease, or you have lost someone dear because of it. If it seems that cancer is all around us, that’s because it is. The World Health Organization cancer statistics tell us this disease is the second leading cause of death in the world. The disease manifests in many different forms, and just as there is no single cause, there still isn’t a universal cure either. Last year cancer took away 9.6 million lives, and the forecast for 2019 is not very bright either, as you will soon find out.

On the other hand, at least there have been some improvements in the marijuana and cancer department. The research is still insufficient, but its ingredients seem to be very successful in fighting the disease.

Top 10 Stats and Facts About Cancer You Must Know:

  • Cancer cells can travel through the body.
  • Cancer drugs bring the highest revenues in the pharma industry.
  • Childhood cancers are different from adult cancers.
  • Lung cancer is extremely deadly — over 50% of patients die one year after they were diagnosed.
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women besides some types of cancer that develop on the skin.
  • Cannabis oil is better than classic opioids in treating cancer pain.
  • Approximately 700,000 Americans are living with a brain tumor.
  • The US cancer death rate has dropped by 27% in the last 25 years.
  • Children’s cancer survival rates are higher than adult survival rates.
  • Belgium is the country with the highest rate of women breast cancer.

General Cancer Statistics

1. In 2019, there will be 1,762,450 new cancer cases in the USA.

(Cancer Journal)

In other words, this means 4,800 new cases will be diagnosed every day.

In 2005-2016 period, the cancer incidence rate decreased in men by 2% every year, while women’s rate remained the same. Consequently, the male death rate was reduced by 1.8% on an annual level, i.e. 1.4% for women.

2. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US in recent years.


While the US is breaking all records in technology and science, it is still struggling to significantly lower cancer mortality rates. The first place in the infamous list of main causes of death for Americans belongs to heart disease, but cancer and heart disease are currently neck and neck.

3. Breast cancer and melanoma have high survival rates when caught early.

(Disabled World)

On the other hand, the highest survival rate (95%) belongs to one of the rarest — testicular cancer.

4. The deadliest cancer in the USA is lung cancer.

(Cancer Journal)

One-quarter of all cancer-related deaths in the US are attributed to lung cancer. Only 10% of patients who were diagnosed with it live more than five years after the diagnosis.

Lung cancer death grim statistics are a direct consequence of the tobacco epidemic. Nevertheless, the rates have significantly dropped since 1991.

5. What causes cancer in a person is still a mystery.

(Stanford Health Care)

Cancer develops under a synergetic impact of different influences. These can be a dangerous lifestyle (smoking, working with harmful materials, bad diet, etc.), toxic environment, radiation, genetics, viruses, or even chemotherapy. Nevertheless, it’s usually hard to pinpoint which exact factor contributed to a person’s disease.

6. Cancer cells can travel through the body.

(Your Genome)

A genetic mutation causes uncontrollable cell growth, which can eventually turn into a tumor. The biggest problem with all cancer types is that as the tumor grows and suppresses the surrounding tissue, cancer cells break into the bloodstream and are able to spread into the other areas of the body.

7. Cancer drugs bring the highest revenues in the pharma industry.


Without any doubt, the first place belongs to oncology drugs — they are almost three times more expensive than the runner-up diabetes drugs. In 2018 the sales hit $123.8 billion, but the amount is expected to almost double by 2024 due to the rising demand.

8. How many people die from cancer each year? Research predicts cancer will be responsible for 606,880 new deaths in 2019 in the US.

(Cancer Journal)

The male population is going to be affected a bit more than the female. This is usually the case, though the exact reasons cannot be explained. Similarly, the chances of being diagnosed with invasive cancer are 39.3% for men and 37.7% for women.

9. Statistics about cancer rates by state show that California has the highest number of deaths for this year.

(Cancer Journal)

60,590 California cancer patients are expected to lose their battle in 2019. Texas is in second place, with 41,300. However, these are also the states with the largest population.

10. Cancer facts show children cancer survival rates are higher than adult survival rates.

(Stanford Health Care)

The five-year survival rate for children is around 80%, whereas for adults the percentage is 68%. Generally, children react better to cancer therapy (even aggressive ones).

11. Childhood cancers are different from adult cancers.

(Stanford Health Care)

The cancers usually originate from different cells. While cancer usually originates from children’s stem cells, and it is thought that a random cell mutation is responsible for the dangerous disease, it is epithelial cells that show abnormal behavior in adults.

Breast Cancer Statistics

12. Over 3.1 million women have fought breast cancer in January 2019.

(Cancer Center)

This refers to the women who have survived and those who were struggling at the moment. According to statistics, 85% of the women diagnosed with the disease are the first ones in their family to suffer from it.

13. Early signs of breast cancer include a change in the size of the breast(s), feeling of pain, lumps or nodes beneath the skin, changes in the nipples’ appearance, and nipple discharge (not milk).

(Cancer Center)

However, some of these are identical to the symptoms of invasive breast cancer.

14. Breast cancer awareness month will begin on October 1st and it will end on November 1st.

(Awareness Days)

The number of breast cancer cases has decreased since the year 2,000, and one of the reasons is said to be increased awareness about the disease, as well as better screening. The US public awareness was raised in this way for the first time in October 1985, and it started as a seven day program.

15. There will be 268,600 new diagnoses of women with invasive breast cancer based on breast cancer statistics for 2019.

(Breast Cancer)

Approximately 41,760 women in the US are expected to die from this cancer in 2019. The most important factors for developing breast cancer is sex (being female) and age. The older a person is, the greater the chances.

16.  Belgium is the country with the highest rate of women breast cancer.

(World Cancer Research Fund)

Luxembourg and the Netherlands follow, while the US is in the 22nd position.

17. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women besides some types of cancer that develop on the skin.

(CDC) (Breast Cancer)

According to 2019 estimates around 30% of newly diagnosed cancer cases among women will be breast cancer. 1 in 8 women is expected to suffer from breast cancer during her lifetime. A man’s lifetime risk is much smaller as only one in 883 men is expected to develop breast cancer.

Skin Cancer Statistics

18. It is the most diagnosed cancer in the US.


The number of diagnosed cases is higher than all the other cancers combined. It will affect one in five Americans by the time they turn 70.

19. The number of new melanoma cases per year increased by 54% in ten years.


This can be related to a variety of factors in the period 2009–2019. What is for certain is that increased UV radiation is to blame. In addition, indoor tanning is considered guilty for 419,000 cases of melanoma every year.

20. The five-year melanoma survival rate for stages 0, I, and II is 98%.

(Melanoma Research Alliance)

The survival rate for stage III is much lower — 63.6% advancements in immunotherapy and targeted therapy are said to be most helpful.

21. Melanoma is the most diagnosed cancer among young adult Americans (25 to 29-year-olds).

(Melanoma Research Alliance)

Also, white people have 20 times bigger chances of being diagnosed than black people, which is not to say the latter population is immune to the disease.

22. Over 1 million Americans are living with skin cancer (even without realizing it).


It can be cured in its early stages, and yet about 20 Americans die from melanoma on a daily basis. This type of cancer is estimated to take away 7,230 lives in 2019.

23. On a global level, one in three diagnosed cancers originates from skin cells.


UV damage due to the holes in the ozone layer contributes to the appearance of new cases.

24. It can occur even in areas that are not sun-exposed.


Naturally, the areas most exposed to the sun (lips, arms, scalp, face, etc.) are most at risk, but cancer can appear even inside the mouth cavity.

Lung Cancer Statistics

25. Lung cancer is extremely deadly — over 50% of patients die one year after they were diagnosed.

(American Lung Association)

The five-year survival rate is extremely low (only 18.6%). One of the reasons for such a shocking rate could be the fact that, generally, this type of cancer is diagnosed at an early stage in only 16% of the cases.

26. African Americans are at a greater risk of developing lung cancer.


Cancer statistics show that out of all the racial or ethnic groups, African Americans have the lowest cancer survival rate for a majority of cancers.

27. In 2019, there will be around 228,150 new lung cancer diagnoses. 

(American Cancer Society)

Lung cancer is more common in men than in women. 142,670 people are expected to die from the disease this year.

28. Lung cancer facts: smoking and exposure to radon are the main causes of the disease.

(American Lung Association)

Smoking is held responsible for 90% of the cases, but other factors are contributors, too. Radon is a radioactive gas that is found in soil and emitted through cracks. One in 15 American homes is exposed to this odorless gas.

29. The most common age for getting diagnosed for lung cancer is around 70.

(ACS) (Very Well Health)

Based on lung cancer statistics, only a small number of people under 45 years old are diagnosed with the disease. However, lung cancer in younger patients is usually already at a very advanced stage, probably because doctors do not see their respiratory condition as alarming at the beginning. Moreover, young people are more prone to developing lung adenocarcinoma, a non-small cancer type.

30. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in highly developed countries.


When it comes to the top ten causes of death, lung cancer is not to be found in countries with low or lower-middle income.

Marijuana and Cancer Facts

31. Marijuana is officially recognized as helpful in cancer therapy.


The American Cancer Society believes marijuana possesses qualities which should be better examined through research and that the federal law on marijuana should be reexamined.

32. Marijuana can be used to treat a myriad of cancer consequences.


Starting from chemotherapy side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite, to pain (including the neuropathic type) and boosting the immune system.

33. Cannabis oil for pain is better than classic opioids in treating cancer pain.

(NCBI) (Harvard Health)

The cannabis entourage effect of THC, CBD, and other ingredients seem more advantageous at reducing pain in cancer patients. In short, patients using cannabis are more active and don’t have problems with communication, as opposed to their state when using classic opioids.

34. Smoking marijuana is not recommendable for lung cancer patients.


There hasn’t been sufficient research to confirm whether smoking marijuana is related to increasing the chances of developing lung cancer, but smoking it during lung cancer therapy should be avoided.

35. CBD oil for cancer does not exist.


Despite the increasing number of testimonials and scientific research regarding the topic, cannabis products are not allowed to be advertised as cures for cancer. Otherwise, they get a warning note from the FDA, which has not yet approved of all cannabis products.

36. Hemp-derived CBD oil is legal under federal law.

(New York Times)

After signing the Farm Bill, products using CBD from hemp (a type of cannabis which has THC below 0.3%) were made legal across the state. However, not all states have altered their laws accordingly yet.

37. Cannabis research confirms marijuana has excellent cancer-killing potentials.


There have been lab experiments showing that marijuana can inhibit cancer cell growth, as well as cause them to self-destruct. Reliable studies and testimonials are showing outstanding results.

38. Only four cannabis-related drugs are FDA approved: Epidiolex, Cesamet, Marinol, and Syndros.

(FDA) (Drugs.Com)

They are used for different conditions: against seizures, loss of appetite, chemotherapy side effects, etc. Nevertheless, they too have some adverse effects which other cannabis-related products do not exert. For instance, Marinol side effects may include weakness, increased heart rate, loss of memory, mood swings, depression, etc.

39. Marijuana could be used for cancer prevention.

(Medical NewsToday) (Project CBD)

Due to its amazing qualities, marijuana is oftentimes mentioned as a great immunity booster which helps us keep our body in balance. According to some studies, people who were using marijuana had a 45% lower risk of bladder cancer. Similarly, in animal studies benign and hepatic adenoma tumors were less frequent.

40. Doctors can’t prescribe you marijuana for pain or cancer.


Or any other condition. By law, doctors are not allowed to issue a signed prescription for any cannabis-related product. What they can do, however, is give you a signed recommendation so you can open a medical card (if it is needed in your state).

Additional Cancer Stats and Facts

41. How many types of cancer are there? There are over 100 different types of cancer.


The most dangerous ones are lung and bronchial cancer, colon and rectal cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer, ovarian cancer, and Esophageal cancer.

42. Which cancer has the lowest survival rate? Out of all types of cancer, pancreatic cancer is the most aggressive.


When a person is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the doctor usually tells them they have got only months to live. The rapid metastasis is thought to be enabled by Zeb1, which is responsible for how cells migrate and survive.

43. Approximately 700,000 Americans are living with a brain tumor.


However,  almost 70% of them are benign. Unfortunately, 86,000 new tumors are to be diagnosed in 2019. What is more, for the (very) young American population (ages 0–19), the most deadly cancer is not leukemia, but brain tumor.

44. The US cancer death rate has dropped by 27% in the last 25 years.


In other words, 2.6 million deaths were avoided from 1991 until the present moment. Two factors contributing to cancer rate decrease are raised awareness about the dangers of smoking, as well as enhanced, faster detection.

45. Tobacco use is responsible for over 20% of cancer deaths.


Such a high percentage qualifies tobacco as one out of four leading risk factors (unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and alcohol). In addition, if people were timely vaccinated against hepatitis B and HPV viruses, 1 million lives could be saved every year.

46. The estimations for how many people die a day show there will be around 1,700 cancer-related deaths in 2019.

(Cancer Journal)

Last year’s prognosis was 1,670 deaths per day.

47. Baby Boomers are at a big risk of developing liver cancer.


Rates of newly diagnosed liver cancer are rising more rapidly than any other cancer. Those who are infected with hepatitis C have the biggest risk, and 75% of the infected belong to the baby boomer generation.

48. Extreme stomach cancer cases require gastrectomy — removing the whole stomach, or one part of it.


It is possible to eat normally after the surgery, but the portions are very much changed. By the way, common stomach cancer causes are continuous heartburn and indigestion.

49. Prostate cancer is less common in Asia, Africa, and Central America.

(Seattle Cancer Care Alliance)

Men over 50 are more prone to suffering from prostate cancer, especially if they happen to live in North America, Australia, the Caribbean, and Northwestern Europe.

50. Some cancer drugs can cost up to $400,000 per year.

(NIH) (Asbestos)

Treating cancer is extremely expensive. A monthly mesothelioma treatment (radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy) costs around $12,000 on average.


Cancer statistics tell us an interesting story, to say the least. On the one hand, a lot has been achieved in the last couple of decades in the US fight against cancer. Today we possess greater knowledge and the public’s awareness is on a higher level so people wait less and screenings are of a higher quality. On the other hand, mortality rates are still very high, especially for certain cancers.

Fortunately, research about marijuana and cancer show that the plant has numerous qualities helpful not only for alleviating chemotherapy side effects but for killing cancer cells as well.


Is cancer disease or a combination of diseases?

Cancer is not a single disease, but a group of related diseases. The fact that it is a collection of unpredictable diseases is what makes it so difficult to diagnose and treat.


How does cancer kill you?

In a nutshell, cancer kills a person by invading the body and “suffocating” the organism with its uncontrollable growth, damaging the environment (tissues, organs, vessels…) where it spreads. Cancer occurs when cells which should have been dead by then do not die, or new cells start growing without any need, invading the surrounding tissue.

Once cancer cells begin to spread through the body via blood bloodstream or the lymph system and new tumors start appearing in different areas, this is called metastasis. That means even more parts of the body begin to struggle to function properly. Unfortunately, sometimes the cancer invasion can’t be stopped in time and it causes organ failure leading to unavoidable death.


What is the most common cancer in men and women in the US?

Skin cancers are the most prevalent in both sexes. The second place belongs to prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. The third place for the most frequent cancer type in both men and women is taken by colorectal cancer (these are actually two types, but they often occur together, so the statistics present them like that, too).

(Business Insider)

Is cancer hereditary?

Yes, it is. However, such cancer makes us up for a small percentage of cases. Cancer statistics show that cancer is hereditary only in 5% to 10% of the cases. Furthermore, cancer is hereditary as such in a way that offspring inherits an abnormal gene that may or may not create a tumor, but it is not hereditary in itself. If one of the parents has cancer, that does not mean the child will be born with a tumor, for example.


Does marijuana cure cancer?

Despite its healing powers, marijuana cannot be defined as a cure for cancer. The disease is very complex, hence there isn’t one single medicine or treatment whose sole contribution is enough, so treating cancer with cannabis only is not recommendable.


Can marijuana cause cancer?

Smoking marijuana exposes the lungs to toxic substances similar to those which we take in while smoking tobacco. There isn’t sufficient research to fully confirm the claim, though. Other types of marijuana use don’t seem too alarming.

(American Lung Association) (CDC)

What is the best CBD oil for cancer treatment?

Let’s first start off by saying that if a product is advertised as such, then the quality probably does not match the price. We are all individuals, so it takes a while to find out what kind of CBD oil works best for us.

The general advice would be to check if the oil is third-party tested, where and how the plant was grown (due to pesticides), the levels of THC, CBD and other ingredients; decide on the best form (capsules, topicals, smoking…) and start with a low dosage.

(Consumer Reports)

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