Cancer Statistics

  • One woman dies of cervical cancer every 8 minutes in India [1].
  • For every 2 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, one woman dies of it in India [2-4].
  • Mortality due to tobacco use in India is estimated at upwards of 3500 persons every day [5].
  • Tobacco (smoked and smokeless) use accounted for 3,17,928 deaths (approx) in men and women in 2018.

Cancer Statistics in India [7]

  • Estimated number of people with cancer: around 2.7 million (2020)
  • Every year, new cancer patients registered: 13.9 lakhs
  • Cancer-related deaths: 8.5 lakhs


Risk of developing cancer before the age of 75 years for Indians

Overall (both sexes included): 1 in 9

Male: 1 in 68

Female: 1 in 29

Total deaths due to cancer in 2020 [2] 

  • Total: 8,51,678
  • Men: 4,38,297
  • Women: 4,13,381

Risk of dying from cancer before the age of 75 years among Indians

Rural males/ females: 1 in 22

Urban males: 1 in 20

Urban females: 1 in 24 [6]

Cancers of oral cavity, stomach and lungs  account for over 25% of cancer deaths in males and cancer of  uterine cervix, breast and oral cavity account for 25% cancers in females [7].

The top five cancers in men and women account for 47.2% of all cancers; these cancers can be prevented, screened for and/or detected early and treated at an early stage [8]. This could significantly reduce the death rate from these cancers.




 Number of new cases in 2020 (Source: Globocan 2020)

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in India and accounts for 14% of all cancers in women [2,3].

Number of new cases in females, 2020 (Source: Globocan 2020)


Globocan 2020 data:

  • New cases registered: 1,78,361
  • Deaths: 90,408

The incidence rates in India begin to rise in the early thirties and peak at ages 50-64 years [7].

Overall, 1 in 29 women is likely to develop breast cancer during her lifetime.

For more information, refer to this document (Source: National Cancer Registry Programme):

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in India in women accounting for 18.3% of all cancer cases in women [7].

Globocan 2020 data [2,3]:

  • New cases registered: 123,907
  • Deaths: 77,348

Rural women are at higher risk of developing cervical cancer as compared to their urban counterparts [9].

Cervical cancer is less common in Muslim than in Hindu women [6].

Cervical cancer is the third largest cause of cancer mortality in India accounting for nearly 10% of all cancer related deaths in the country [10].

Survival rate

The relative five year survival averages to just about 50% [11].

Length of survival after a diagnosis of cervical cancer depends on the cancer stage at the time of detection.

The survival chance of a person becomes better if the cervical cancer is detected at the precancerous stage through screening and treated at such a stage. Therefore it is important for all eligible women to avail of cervical cancer screening


For more information, refer to this document (Source: National Cancer Registry Programme):

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is the most common cancer in India amongst men (16.1 % of all cancers), and fourth most frequent cancer among Indian women.

Globocan 2020 data:

  • New cases registered: 135,929
  • Total number of deaths: 75,290

Around 80-90% of oral cancers are directly attributable to tobacco use [13].

The mean age of oral cancer is 50 years [14].

Survival rate (5-year) [15]

Patients with early stage oral cancer: 82%
Patients with advanced stages: 27%

Oral cancer can also be detected early through screening. Early detection and treatment improves survival.


For more information, refer to this document (Source: National Cancer Registry Programme):



[1] WHO Summary report on HPV & cervical cancer statistics in India (18/03/2008)
[2] Sung H, Ferlay J, Siegel RL, et al. Global Cancer Statistics 2020: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries. CA Cancer J Clin. 2021 May;71(3):209-249.

[4] Jha P, Jacob B, Gajalakshmi V, Gupta PC, Dhingra N, Kumar R, et al. A nationally representative case–control study of smoking and death in India. New England Journal of Medicine. 2008 March; 358(11):1137–1147. And Sinha DN, Palipudi KM, Gupta PC, Singhal S, Ramasundarahettige C, Jha P, et al. Smokeless tobacco use: a meta-analysis of risk and attributable mortality estimates for India. Indian Journal of Cancer. 2014;51(Suppl 1):S73–S77.

[5] Report on causes of deaths in India 2001-2003. Office of the Registrar General of India, Govt.of India, 2010.
[6] Dikshit R, Gupta PC, Ramasundarahettige C, et al. Cancer mortality in India: a nationally representative survey.; 2012,; Lancet.;379(9828):1807-16.
[7] National Cancer Registry Programme. Consolidated report of the population based cancer registries 2012-2016. New Delhi: Indian Council of Medical Research; 2020.
[8] Mathur P, Sathishkumar K, Chaturvedi M, et al. Cancer Statistics, 2020: Report From National Cancer Registry Programme, India. JCO Glob Oncol. 2020 Jul;6:1063-1075.
[9] Karthigeyan, K.; Cervical cancer in India and HPV vaccination.;2012; Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol.; 33(1): 7–12.
[10] World Health Organisation. The Global Burden of Disease: 2004 Update. Geneva, WHO, 2009b.
[11] Sankaranarayanan R, Black RJ, Parkin DM. Cancer survival in developing countries, IARC Scientific Publication No. 145. Lyon: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 1998.
[12] Chaurasia V, Pal S. A Novel Approach for Breast Cancer Detection using Data Mining Techniques.; 2014 International Journal of Innovative Research in Computer and Communication Engineering.; 2(1); 2456-65.
[13] NCRP – Consolidated Report of Hospital Based Cancer Registries 2007-2011, National Cancer Registry Programme (Indian Council of Medical Research), Bangalore, 2013
[14] Shenoi R, Devrukhkar VC, Sharma BK, et al. Demographic and clinical profile of oral squamous cell carcinoma patients: a retrospective study.; 2012; Indian J Cancer. ;49(1):21-6.
[15] Iype EM, Pandey M, Mathew A, et al. Oral cancer among patients under the age of 35 years.; 2001; J Postgrad Med.;47(3):171-6.