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The most common cancers

More than 200 different types of cancer have been identified. However, the vast majority of cancer cases across the globe are attributed to a handful of types.

Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world and a major contributor to health disabilities. Recognition of the most common cancers may raise awareness of which cancers pose the biggest threat and how to reduce risk for these diseases.

Per the World Health Organization, these were the most common cancers across the globe in terms of new cases in 2020, the most recent year for data.

1. Breast (2.26 million)
2. Lung (2.21 million)
3. Colon and rectum (1.93 million)
4. Prostate (1.41 million)
5. Non-melanoma skin (1.20 million)
6. Stomach (1.09 million)

The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that, in 2022, an average of 641 Canadians were diagnosed with cancer every day. Certain cancers are more common than others in Canada. Excluding non-melanoma skin cancer, Best Health lists these as the six most common cancers in Canada (specific numbers are unavailable).

1. Lung and bronchus
2. Colorectal
3. Breast (which also happens to be the most common cancer in women)
4. Prostate (which is the most common cancer among men in all but two Canadian provinces)
5. Bladder
6. Non-hodgkin lymphoma

Individuals should engage their doctors in conversations about the applicable screenings for these cancers. Women are urged to get breast mammograms at set intervals. Men can undergo prostate specific antigen screening. Colonoscopy can help inform both men and women of their risk for colon and rectal cancers. Lung cancer screenings typically are not routine unless a person has a high risk of lung cancer or is a longtime smoker.

Spreading knowledge of common cancers and promoting proactive screening and healthy lifestyles may help to reduce cancer rates across the globe.

This Movember feature is brought to you by Great West Media Content Studio and in part by the Sponsors on this page. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.

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