Half a million cancers a year

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Almost 500,000 new cancer cases annually

The number of cancer cases in Germany has been increasing for years. In the meantime, almost 500,000 new cancer cases have been recorded annually. One of the reasons is the aging population as a result of demographic change.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) determines the number of cancer cases in Germany every two years. According to the RKI projections for 2012, around 490,000 new cancer cases are expected this year; in 2008 the number was 470,000, ten years earlier only 390,000. According to the experts, aging of the population and demographic change play a major role in the increasing number of cancer cases.

Number of new cancer cases increased significantly Almost half a million new cancer cases are diagnosed throughout Germany every year, with the survival rate continuously improving in recent years. In 1980, more than two thirds of the patients died of their cancer, while fewer than half of those affected do not survive the disease, reports the RKI. According to extrapolations by the institute, a total of around 1.4 million people lived in Germany in 2012 who had been diagnosed with cancer in the past five years. The development shows a worrying trend. According to the RKI, the number of new cases increased from 390,000 in 1998 to 470,000 in 2008 and an estimated 490,000 in 2012.

Demographic change causes an increase in cancer cases The experts cite the growing number of older people as a major reason for the rise in new cancer cases. As the likelihood of cancer increases with age, the increasing average age brings with it an overall increased number of cancer diagnoses. The RKI also anticipates an increase in cancer diagnoses, as the first phase of the mammography screening program will probably result in significantly more breast cancer cases being detected than before. Breast cancer (breast cancer) is the most common cancer in women, with around a third of all cancer cases, whereas men suffer most from prostate cancer (around 25 percent of cancer cases in men).

Precise counting of cancerous diseases requires nationwide registration At the RKI, the numbers for cancerous diseases in the center for cancer registry data are determined from the reported data of the state cancer registry for the whole of Germany. On the basis of these figures, the RKI and the Society of the Epidemiological Cancer Registries in Germany (Gekid) jointly publish the report "Cancer in Germany" every two years. However, not all of the information is based on the data reported by the State Cancer Register, but in some cases extrapolations are necessary, as a complete, complete transmission of cancer cases has not yet been guaranteed everywhere. The figures from 2008 are based on data from more than 50 million German citizens, not least because the data base has continuously improved in recent years. However, according to the RKI, an exact count of cancer cases will only be possible if all federal states collect and transmit the data nationwide. Until then, the nationwide new cancer cases can only be estimated in some areas. (fp)

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