The burden of cancer in Kenya
Cancer is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with approximately
14 million new cases in 20121. The number of new cases is expected to rise by about 70% over
the next two decades. Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, and was responsi-
ble for 8.8 million deaths in 2015.
The most common causes of cancer death are cancers of Lung (1.69 million deaths), Liver (788 000 deaths), Colorectal (774 000 deaths), Stomach (754000 deaths), and Breast (571 000 deaths). Globally, nearly 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer.Approximately 70% of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries.
In Kenya, cancer is estimated to be the third leading cause of death after infectious and cardio-
vascular diseases. Among the NCD related deaths, cancer is the second leading cause of death
accounting for 7% of overall national mortality after cardiovascular diseases (WHO 2014 NCD
country prole 2014). The annual incidence of cancer is close to 37,000 new cases with an
annual mortality of over 28,000.
The leading cancers in women are cervix uteri (40.1/100,000), breast (38.3/100,000) and oesophagus (15.1/100,000).
In men, prostate (31.6/100,000), Kaposi sarcoma (16/100,000) and oesophagus (20.5/100,000) are the most common cancers (Ferlay etal 2013)