Lifetime Risk of Developing or Dying From Cancer

The lifetime risk of developing or dying from cancer refers to the chance a person has, over the course of his or her lifetime (from birth to death), of being diagnosed with or dying from cancer. These risk estimates are one way to measure of how widespread cancer is in the United States.

The following tables list lifetime risks of developing and dying from certain cancers for men and women in the US. The information is from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database, and is based on incidence and mortality data for the United States from 2014 through 2016, the most recent years for which data are available.

The risk is expressed both in terms of a percentage and as odds.

  • For example, the risk that a man will develop cancer pf the pancreas during his lifetime is 1.66%. This means he has about 1 chance in 60 of developing pancreatic cancer (100/1.66 = 60).
  • Put another way, 1 out of every 60 men in the United States will develop pancreatic cancer during his lifetime.

These numbers are average risks for the overall US population. Your risk may be higher or lower than these numbers, depending on your particular risk factors.

Males

 

Risk of developing

Risk of dying from

 

%

1 in

%

1 in

All invasive sites

40.14

2

21.34

5

Bladder (includes in situ)

3.86

26

0.93

108

Brain and nervous system

0.69

145

0.53

189

Breast

0.13

769

0.03

3,333

Colon and rectum

4.41

23

1.83

55

Esophagus

0.80

125

0.76

132

Hodgkin lymphoma

0.24

417

0.04

2,500

Kidney and renal pelvis

2.16

46

0.60

167

Larynx (voice box)

0.53

189

0.19

526

Leukemia

1.86

54

0.96

104

Liver and bile duct

1.44

69

1.02

98

Lung and bronchus

6.70

15

5.49

18

Melanoma of the skin

2.77

36

0.39

256

Multiple myeloma

0.93

108

0.47

213

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

2.43

41

0.81

123

Oral cavity and pharynx

1.66

60

0.42

238

Pancreas

1.66

60

1.39

72

Prostate

11.60

9

2.44

41

Stomach

1.07

93

0.45

222

Testicles

0.40

250

0.02

5,000

Thyroid

0.70

143

0.06

1,667

Females

 

Risk of developing

Risk of dying from

 

%

1 in

%

1 in

All invasive sites

38.70

3

18.33

5

Bladder (includes in situ)

1.18

85

0.35

286

Brain and nervous system

0.55

182

0.42

238

Breast

12.83

8

2.57

39

Cervix

0.63

159

0.22

455

Colon and rectum

4.08

25

1.68

60

Esophagus

0.24

417

0.20

500

Hodgkin lymphoma

0.20

500

0.03

3,333

Kidney and renal pelvis

1.23

81

0.33

303

Larynx (voice box)

0.13

769

0.05

2,000

Leukemia

1.29

78

0.68

147

Liver and bile duct

0.62

161

0.54

185

Lung and bronchus

6.05

17

4.50

22

Melanoma of the skin

1.79

56

0.19

526

Multiple myeloma

0.71

141

0.38

263

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

1.93

52

0.64

156

Oral cavity and pharynx

0.71

141

0.19

526

Ovary

1.25

80

0.88

114

Pancreas

1.60

63

1.35

74

Stomach

0.66

152

0.30

333

Thyroid

1.93

52

0.07

1,429

Uterus

3.07

33

0.63

159

 

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2016, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/, based on November 2018 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2019.

References

Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2016, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/, based on November 2018 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2019.

Last Revised: January 13, 2020

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