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, like annual incidence and mortality data, provide another 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. The information is from the US National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Database, and is based on incidence and mortality data for the United States from 2012 through 2014, the most current 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 bladder cancer during his lifetime is 3.76%. This means he has about 1 chance in 27 of developing bladder cancer (100/3.76 = 26.6).
  • Put another way, 1 out of every 27 men in the United States will develop bladder 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

39.66

3

22.03

5

Bladder (includes in situ)

3.76

27

0.94

106

Brain and nervous system

0.7

143

0.53

189

Breast

0.12

833

0.03

3,333

Colon and rectum

4.49

22

1.91

52

Esophagus

0.76

132

0.77

130

Hodgkin disease

0.23

435

0.04

2,500

Kidney and renal pelvis

2.09

48

0.62

161

Larynx (voice box)

0.55

182

0.20

500

Leukemia

1.79

56

1.02

98

Liver and bile duct

1.39

72

0.99

101

Lung and bronchus

6.85

15

5.96

17

Melanoma of the skin

2.77

36

0.43

233

Multiple myeloma

0.89

113

0.48

208

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

2.38

42

0.84

119

Oral cavity and pharynx

1.61

62

0.40

250

Pancreas

1.58

63

1.38

72

Prostate

11.55

9

2.45

41

Stomach

1.05

95

0.47

213

Testicles

0.4

250

0.02

5,000

Thyroid

0.63

159

0.06

1,667

Females

 

Risk of developing

Risk of dying from

 

%

1 in

%

1 in

All invasive sites

37.65

3

18.76

5

Bladder (includes in situ)

1.12

89

0.34

294

Brain and nervous system

0.54

185

0.41

244

Breast

12.41

8

2.62

38

Cervix

0.62

161

0.22

455

Colon and rectum

4.15

24

1.74

57

Esophagus

0.22

455

0.20

500

Hodgkin disease

0.19

526

0.03

3,333

Kidney and renal pelvis

1.20

83

0.33

303

Larynx (voice box)

0.12

833

0.05

2,000

Leukemia

1.26

79

0.71

141

Liver and bile duct

0.6

167

0.52

192

Lung and bronchus

5.95

17

4.73

21

Melanoma of the skin

1.72

58

0.21

476

Multiple myeloma

0.65

154

0.39

256

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

1.87

53

0.66

152

Oral cavity and pharynx

0.68

147

0.18

556

Ovary

1.27

79

0.93

108

Pancreas

1.54

65

1.35

74

Stomach

0.65

154

0.31

323

Thyroid

1.79

56

0.07

1,429

Uterine corpus

2.85

35

0.6

167

 

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master's-prepared 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, Bishop K, Kosary CL, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2014, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2014/, based on November 2016 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2017.

Lifetime Risk (Percent) of Being Diagnosed with Cancer by Site and Race/Ethnicity: Males, 18 SEER Areas, 2012-2014 (Table 1.16) https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2014/results_merged/topic_lifetime_risk.pdf
and Females, 18 SEER Areas, 2012-2014 (Table 1.17) https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2014/results_merged/topic_lifetime_risk.pdf
Accessed on January 3, 2018.

Lifetime Risk (Percent) of Dying from Cancer by Site and Race/Ethnicity: Males, Total US, 2012-2014 (Table 1.19)https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2014/results_merged/topic_lifetime_risk.pdf and Females, Total US, 2012-2014 (Table 1.20) https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2014/results_merged/topic_lifetime_risk.pdf. Accessed on January 3, 2018.

Last Medical Review: January 4, 2018 Last Revised: January 4, 2018

American Cancer Society medical information is copyrighted material. For reprint requests, please see our Content Usage Policy.