Source: WHO Globocan 2018


by Gender

Incidence rates for total cancers in females in Asian Countries

Incidence rates for total cancers in males in Asian Countries

About Blood Cancers

Symptoms of blood cancers may vary individually but commonly can include as follows,

(source: MBCV Report 2018. Image is adopted from MBCV with modification)

Want to know the blood cancer statistics for Asia?

Unexplained Weight Loss


Easily Bruised Or Bleed

Feeling Weak or Breathless

Pain in Bones / Joints

Itchy Skin

Enlarged Lymph Nodes

Swollen Stomach or Abdominal Discomfort

Frequent and Repeated Infections

Fever / Night Sweats

Bone Pain (Ribs / Back)

The risk factors for Blood Cancers as follows,

(source: MBCV Report 2018. Image is adopted from MBCV with modification)


Chemical Exposures

Chemotherapy Drugs

Radiation Exposure

Certain Blood Disorders

Genetic Defects

The data on blood cancer incidences and survival rate is limited in Asia.

  • The disease progression for Southeast Asian patients who has diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is faster than in Caucasians. 1
  • The incidences of lymphoma in Asia is increasing, mirroring the trend of Caucasian data at a lower rate. 2
  • By world regions, Australasia has the highest age-standardized incidenc rate of multiple myeloma, followed by high-income North America and Western Europe. 3

Misconception about Blood Cancer are common:

(source: MBCV Report 2018. Image is adopted from MBCV with modification)

There are many misconceptions about blood cancer, and it is important to learn the facts. Below are some of the common misconceptions about blood cancer.

Diagnosis equated a "death sentence as blood cancer is perceived to be incurable"

Patients and survivors will not be able to regain quality of life.

The causes of blood cancer are not well understood by the public.

For example, some incorrectly think that anemia is a cause of cancer.

Like other cancers, blood cancer is perceived to be contagious

Solid cancers are defined as abnormal cellular growths in “solid” organs such as the breast or prostate, as opposed to leukemia, a cancer affecting the blood, which is liquid.36

Solid tumors may be benign (not cancer), or malignant (cancer). Different types of solid tumors are named for the type of cells that form them. Examples of solid tumors are sarcomas, carcinomas, and lymphomas. (for lymphomas, please refer to blood cancers link for further information). 37


Asia has about half the cancer incidence rate of North America (152.2 cases/100,000 person-years versus 315.6 cases/100,000 person-years). However, the ratio of cancer deaths to the number of new cancer cases in 2012 was much higher in Asia (0.66) than in North America (0.33). 38


Close to a quarter (24%) of all breast cancers were diagnosed within the Asia-Pacific region (approximately 404,000 cases at a rate of 30 per 100,000), with the greatest number of those occurring in China (46%), Japan (14%) and Indonesia (12%).39


Liver cancer is a major health problem in developing countries. The highest age adjusted incidence rates (>20 per 100,000) are recorded in East Asia (North and South Korea, China, and Vietnam), and sub-Saharan Africa, which accounts for 82% of liver cancer cases worldwide.40


China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Turkey had higher 5-year prevalence rates than that in other Asian countries (≥ 46.5/100,000). 41 The temporal trends of these epidemiological figures are different, where China showed an increasing incidence and mortality, Singapore demonstrated rising incidence but reducing mortality, and Japan was reported as having decreasing incidence and mortality. 42


Among Asian countries, five countries with the highest standardized incidence rates of lung cancer were Democratic Republic of Korea with 44.2 per 100,000, China with 36.1 per 100,000, Armenia with 35.9 per 100,000, Turkey with 34.7 per 100,000, and Timor-Leste with 31 per 100,000, respectively. 43


Many Asian countries, including Korea, Japan and China, experience disproportionately high rates of stomach cancer, possibly due to high rates of Helicobacter pylori infection and the increased consumption of salted and smoked foods. 44


The highest incidence of esophageal cancer in Asian countries was related to Turkmenistan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Bangladesh, and China. All these countries are a part of the Asian belt of the cancer. Cancer incidence was in the region more than 100 per 100,000. 45


The incidence and mortality of pancreatic cancer varies greatly across regions and populations. In 2012, Eastern and Western Asia (4.5 and 3.9/100,000 ASR) have higher incidence of pancreatic cancers compared to southeast and center of Asia (2.2 and 1.2/100,000 ASR). And the highest rate (6.5/100,000) of ASR incidence is in Australia and New Zealand. 46

Breast, lung, stomach, colorectal and liver cancers constitute the most common cancers in Asia. Prostate cancer is the most common male-specific cancer in Asia and it ranks sixth among all cancers in Asian men, compared to developed countries where prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. 47

Estimated number of new cancer cases vs. deaths and distribution (%) by type (excludes non-melanoma skin cancer) in Southern, Eastern, and South-Eastern Asia, both sexes, 2018.

Cancer is the second-leading causes of death in Asia, accounting for 15 of every 100 deaths, according to Global Health Data Exchange, 2016. The top five cancers in the region are lung cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer. But for women, breast cancer is the most common.