Greece records over 24,000 cancer deaths, Cyprus has lowest numbers in EU


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Greece recorded over 24,000 cancer-related deaths, at 249 per 100,000 inhabitants, just below the EU average whilst Cyprus recorded the lowest rate with 194 deaths from cancer per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Finland (220), Malta (221), Sweden (229) and Spain (230).

The latest cancer-related death rates were published by Eurostat on the occasion of World Cancer Day (4 February). According to the report almost 1.2 million people died from cancer in the European Union in 2016. Cancer was responsible for over one quarter (26%) of all deaths recorded in the EU.

Hungary recorded the highest age-standardised death rate from cancer among the EU Member States. High death rates from cancer were also registered in Croatia (334), Slovakia (315) and Slovenia (309).

In contrast, low death rates from cancer were recorded in a number of Mediterranean and Nordic countries.

Men (656,100 deaths due to cancer) were more affected than women (511,600). Cancer caused 29% of deaths of men and around 23% of deaths of women in 2016. Fatal cancers caused 288,900 deaths among people younger than 65 years in the EU, corresponding to 37% of all deaths in this age group, while less than one quarter (878,800 deaths, 23%) of all deaths among those aged 65 and above.

Lung cancer claimed 239,000 lives in the EU in 2016, accounting for one fifth (20%) of all deaths. Colorectal cancer (139,700 deaths, 12% of all deaths due to cancer), breast cancer (85,300, 7%), pancreatic cancers (78,700, 7%) and prostate cancer (65,200, 6%) were also frequent causes of death.

Lung cancer was the main fatal cancer form for men, being responsible for one quarter (165,000 deaths, 25%) of all male deaths from cancer. This was far more than colorectal cancer (7,400, 12%) and prostate cancer (65,200, 10%). Breast cancer (84,300 deaths, 16% of all female deaths due to cancer), lung cancer (74,100, 14%) and colorectal cancer (62,300, 12%) caused the most cancer deaths among women in the EU in 2016.