Pancreatic cancer statistics

Pancreatic cancer is the twelfth most common cancer in the world (joint position with kidney cancer), with 338,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012.

The early stages of this cancer do not usually produce symptoms, so the disease is generally advanced when it is diagnosed. The estimated 5-year prevalence of people in the world living with pancreatic cancer is 4.1 per 100,000. This cancer is almost always fatal, and is the seventh most common cause of death from cancer.

The Continuous Update Project Panel of independent scientists judged that there was convincing evidence that body fatness (reflected by BMI, measures of abdominal girth and adult weight gain) increases the risk of pancreatic cancer. Greater childhood growth (reflected by adult attained height and BMI at aged about 20 years) probably increases the risk of this cancer.

Preventability estimates using the new findings from the Continuous Update Project show that about 19% of cases of pancreatic cancer in the US can be prevented by being a healthy weight.

The countries with the top 20 highest incidence of pancreatic cancer in 2012 are given in the tables below.

Both sexes

  • Czech Republic had the highest rate of pancreatic cancer in 2012, followed by Slovakia and Armenia.
  • About 55 per cent of pancreatic cancer cases occurred in more developed countries.
  • The highest incidence of pancreatic cancer was in Northern America and Europe; and the lowest incidence in Africa and Asia.
Rank Country Age-Standardised Rate per 100,000 (World)
1 Czech Republic 9.7
2 Slovakia 9.4
3 Armenia 9.3
3 Hungary 9.3
5 Slovenia 8.8
6 Finland 8.7
7 Japan 8.5
7 Denmark 8.5
9 Austria 8.2
10 Latvia 8.1
10 Malta 8.1
10 French Guyana 8.1
10 Republic of Moldova 8.1
14 Bulgaria 8.0
15 Romania 7.9
15 Germany 7.9
17 FYR Macedonia 7.7
17 Uruguay 7.7
19 Israel 7.6
20 United States of America 7.5

Source: Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, Dikshit R, Eser S, Mathers C, Rebelo M, Parkin DM, Forman D, Bray, F. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.1, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2014. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr, accessed on 16/01/2015.

Men

  • Armenia had the highest rate of pancreatic cancer in 2012, followed by Czech Republic and Slovakia.
  • About 53 per cent of pancreatic cancer cases occurred in more developed countries.
  • The highest incidence of pancreatic cancer was in Northern America and Europe; and the lowest incidence in Africa and Asia.
Rank Country Age-Standardised Rate per 100,000 (World)
1 Armenia 11.9
1 Czech Republic 11.9
3 Slovakia 11.5
3 FYR Macedonia 11.5
3 Hungary 11.5
6 Latvia 10.8
7 Japan 10.6
7 Lithuania 10.6
9 Bulgaria 10.4
10 Romania 10.3
11 Estonia 10.2
12 Malta 10.0
13 Finland 9.9
14 Republic of Moldova 9.8
15 Slovenia 9.7
15 Austria 9.7
17 Kazakhstan 9.5
18 Denmark 9.4
19 Uruguay 9.2
20 Germany 8.9
20 Israel 8.9
20 Croatia 8.9

Source: Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, Dikshit R, Eser S, Mathers C, Rebelo M, Parkin DM, Forman D, Bray, F. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.1, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2014. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr, accessed on 16/01/2015.

Women

  • Czech Republic had the highest rate of pancreatic cancer in 2012, followed by the Slovenia and Slovakia.
  • About 58 per cent of pancreatic cancer cases occurred in more developed countries.
  • The highest incidence of pancreatic cancer is in Northern America and Europe; and the lowest incidence in Africa and Asia.
Rank Country Age-Standardised Rate per 100,000 (World)
1 Czech Republic 7.9
2 Slovenia 7.8
2 Slovakia 7.8
4 Denmark 7.7
5 Finland 7.6
6 Hungary 7.4
7 Armenia 7.3
8 French Guyana 7.0
9 Germany 6.9
9 Austria 6.9
11 Belize 6.7
11 Japan 6.7
13 Republic of Moldova 6.6
13 Malta 6.6
13 Israel 6.6
13 Norway 6.6
17 United States of America 6.5
18 Uruguay 6.4
19 Latvia 6.2
20 Switzerland 6.0
20 Bulgaria 6.0

Source: Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, Dikshit R, Eser S, Mathers C, Rebelo M, Parkin DM, Forman D, Bray, F. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.1, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2014. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr, accessed on 16/01/2015.