Years of Life Lost from Lung, Stomach, Liver and Cervical Cancers: An Evaluation of the Top Cancer Killers

  • B. Y. Goldstein
  • F. I. Bray
  • D. M. Parkin
  • J. W. Sellors
  • Z. F. Zhang
Reference work entry


Based on  GLOBOCAN 2002 data, lung, stomach, and liver cancers are the top three cancer killers in both sexes worldwide; cervical cancer is the third most common cause of deaths from cancer among women globally and the top cancer killer among women in developing countries. In this evaluation the burden of lung, stomach, liver, and cervical cancers are assessed using the  years of life lost (YLL) measure, which accounts for both the number of deaths and the age at which death occurs. World mortality data for lung, stomach, liver, and cervical cancers was obtained from GLOBOCAN 2002 by region and sex. Poisson regression models were used to interpolate mortality rates by five-year age categories from the broader GLOBOCAN categories. YLLs were calculated using a model with non-uniform age weights and a  discount rate of 3%.

Each year, lung, stomach, liver, and cervical cancers are responsible for a loss of 29.5 million (weighted and discounted) years of life (11 million from lung cancer, 7 million from stomach cancer, 7.5 million from liver cancer, and 4 million from cervical cancer). The age-standardized YLL rate for lung cancer in developed countries is over 1.5 times greater than in developing countries (261 vs. 154 YLL per 100,000 persons per year), while the annual YLL rates in developing countries is greater than developed countries for stomach (129 vs. 94 YLL per 100,000), liver (153 vs. 47 per 100,000), and cervical (162 vs. 55 YLL per 100,000 females) cancers. Given the existence of proven prevention strategies for lung, liver, and cervical cancers, the potential for “saving” years of life is great. Furthermore, prevention is effective and feasible in developing parts of the world, areas where interventions will have the largest impact.


Cervical Cancer Liver Cancer Discount Rate Life Table Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome


European Region from the Global Burden of Disease study


Global Burden of Disease study


Hepatitis B Virus


Human Papillomavirus


 Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure


South Eastern Asian Region from the Global Burden of Disease study


Sub-Saharan Africa


United States


World Health Organization


Western Pacific Region from the Global Burden of Disease study


Years of Life Lost


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Y. Goldstein
  • F. I. Bray
  • D. M. Parkin
  • J. W. Sellors
  • Z. F. Zhang

There are no affiliations available

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