Data InsightsCancer mortality has declined in many countries
April 02, 2024Saloni Dattani

Cancer mortality has declined in many countries

Line chart showing the cancer death rate in a range of countries since the 1950s. Large declines are seen in these countries.

The chart shows age-standardized death rates from cancer in different countries since 1950.

Age-standardized rates tell us about the impact of cancer among people of the same age. This allows for a fair comparison across time and between countries — for example, to see how rates for fifty-year-olds today compare to fifty-year-olds in the 1950s.

In the United States, for example, the age-standardized death rate from cancer has declined by around a third since its peak in 1990.

A significant driver has been the large decline in smoking, which causes a wide range of cancers. But we’ve also achieved many more advances in cancer medicine and public health, such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, surgery, vaccination against HPV and hepatitis, treatment for H. pylori, and advances in screening, diagnosis, and monitoring.

Read more