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Cancer - General Cancer in Singapore

Top Cancers in Singapore

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Cancer is not just a disease that “affects other people”. Based on local incidence rates, cancer is more common than you might think. The Singapore Cancer Registry Annual Report 2019 shows that the number of cancer cases in Singapore have been increasing. From 2015-2019, there were 78,204 cancer cases reported, with 49% of those being for males and 51% for females. Indeed, cancer stats for Singapore suggest that 1 in 4 people may develop cancer in their lifetime. But what are the top cancers in Singapore?

Five Top Cancers in Singapore

The five most common types of cancers in Singapore reported for males and females from 2015-2019 are:

Males:

  1. Colon & rectum (6,436 cases / 16.9%)
  2. Prostate (5,875 cases / 15.4%)
  3. Lung (5,218 cases / 13.7%)
  4. Liver (2,834 / 7.4%)
  5. Lymphoid neoplasms (2,569 / 6.7%)

Females:

  1. Breast (11,805 cases / 29.4%)
  2. Colon & rectum (5,253 cases / 13.1%)
  3. Lung (3,074 cases / 7.7%)
  4. Uterus (2,919 / 7.3%)
  5. Lymphoid neoplasms (1,990 / 5.0%)

Top 5 Cancers with Highest Mortality in Singapore

In terms of mortality (i.e. frequency of cancer deaths) over the same period, the top 5 types of cancers are:

Males:

  1. Lung (3,997 / 25.6%)
  2. Colon & rectum (2,264 /14.5%)
  3. Liver (2,019 / 12.9%)
  4. Prostate (989 / 6.3%)
  5. Pancreas (976 / 6.3%)

Females:

  1. Breast (2,208 / 17.1%)
  2. Colon & rectum (2,015 / 15.6%)
  3. Lung (2,008 / 15.5%)
  4. Pancreas (869 / 6.7%)
  5. Liver (831 / 6.4%).

While these numbers seem alarming, the good news is that cancer survival rates have been going up over time too. The Singapore Cancer Registry Annual Report 2019 indicates that the “five-year age-standardised relative survival (ASRS) of all cancers had improved for males and females over the years” and that the “five-year ASRS increased from 13.2% to 53.5% for males from 1973-1977 to 2015-2019 and rose from 28.0% to 62.0% for females over the same period”.

Regular screen and early detection are key to increasing the chances of successful cancer treatment. Arm yourself with more knowledge about cancers and cancer prevention. Learn more starting with our expert guide on cancers here.

This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.