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Eksport do Mediów Społecznościowych

Eksport do Mediów Społecznościowych

Cancer incidence and mortality in Poland in 2023

Joanna Didkowska12, Klaudia Barańska13, Marta J. Miklewska14, Urszula Wojciechowska1
Biuletyn Polskiego Towarzystwa Onkologicznego Nowotwory 2024;9(2):87-105.

Streszczenie

Introduction.Cancers are a real global health problem. Europe accounts for 1/10 of the world’s population, but ¼ of all cancer cases occurs in this region. Poland is in the group of countries where cancer mortality is the highest. The aim of this article is to present a summary of the epidemiological indicators of malignant neoplasms in Poland in 2023.

Material and methods.This report presents observed morbidity and mortality data for 2010–2021, and also esti­mated values two years ahead (2022–2023). Data aggregation was carried out according to sex, age, cancer site, or administrative division of Poland. Time trends were determined using joinpoint regression. The Polish National Cancer Registry is responsible for gathering cancer morbidity data in Poland; mortality data came from Statistics Poland.

Results.  The Polish National Cancer Registry reported about 171,558 new cases and 93,652 cancer deaths in 2021. The most common cancers in men were prostate, lung, and colon cancer. The most common cancers in women were breast, lung, and colorectal cancers. The prediction of morbidity and mortality for 2023 indicates a continuation of long-term trends.

Conclusions.The increase in the number of cases (approximately 25,000) and the number of deaths (by approximately 6000) observed in 2021 compared to 2020 indicates the huge impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health indicators in Poland. However, the year 2021 shows the characteristics of the previous trend among cancer data.   

Artykuł oryginalny / Original article
Epidemiologia nowotworów / Cancer epidemiology

Biuletyn Polskiego
Towarzystwa Onkologicznego
NOWOTWORY

2024, tom 9, nr 2, 87–105

© Polskie Towarzystwo Onkologiczne

ISSN: 2543–5248, e-ISSN: 2543–8077

www.nowotwory.edu.pl

Cancer incidence and mortality in Poland in 2023

Joanna A. Didkowska12Klaudia Barańska13Marta J. Miklewska14Urszula Wojciechowska1
1Polish National Cancer Registry, Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland
2Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Prevention, Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland
3Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, Silesian University of Technology, Zabrze, Poland
4Department of Dietetics, Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
Introduction. Cancers are a real global health problem. Europe accounts for 1/10 of the world’s population, but ¼ of all cancer cases occurs in this region. Poland is in the group of countries where cancer mortality is the highest. The aim of this article is to present a summary of the epidemiological indicators of malignant neoplasms in Poland in 2023.
Material and methods. This report presents observed morbidity and mortality data for 2010–2021, and also estimated values two years ahead (2022–2023). Data aggregation was carried out according to sex, age, cancer site, or administrative division of Poland. Time trends were determined using joinpoint regression. The Polish National Cancer Registry is responsible for gathering cancer morbidity data in Poland; mortality data came from Statistics Poland.
Results. The Polish National Cancer Registry reported about 171,558 new cases and 93,652 cancer deaths in 2021. The most common cancers in men were prostate, lung, and colon cancer. The most common cancers in women were breast, lung, and colorectal cancers. The prediction of morbidity and mortality for 2023 indicates a continuation of long-term trends.
Conclusions. The increase in the number of cases (approximately 25,000) and the number of deaths (by approximately 6000) observed in 2021 compared to 2020 indicates the huge impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health indicators in Poland. However, the year 2021 shows the characteristics of the previous trend among cancer data.
Key words: mortality, morbidity, neoplasms, Poland

Jak cytować / How to cite:

Didkowska JA, Barańska K, Miklewska MJ, Wojciechowska U. Cancer incidence and mortality in Poland in 2023. NOWOTWORY J Oncol 2024; 74: 75–93.

Introduction

Cancers are a real global health problem. Europe accounts for 1/10 of the world’s population, but ¼ of all cancer cases occurs in this region [1] In addition, 23% of deaths in Europe are caused by cancers (data from 2020) [2–4]. Poland is in the group of countries where cancer mortality is the highest [1]. The impact of COVID-19 on the mortality rate of the Polish population continues. Deaths from COVID accounted for almost the same percentage as deaths from cancer (17.0% vs. 18.7%). In 2021, for every 100,000 inhabitants, 452 people were diagnosed with cancer [5]. The purpose of the article is to present a summary of the epidemiological indicators of malignant neoplasms in Poland in 2021.

Materials and methods

Source of data and identification of cancer cases

The Polish National Cancer Registry (PNCR) is the source of cancer morbidity data. In Poland, the entire country has a unified protocol, allowing us to maintain the same principles of cancer registration in every region. Cancer mortality data comes from Statistics Poland [3]. All the data presented were collected dufing the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases and Health Problems [6].

Statistical analysis

The basic statistical measurements presented in this report are absolute numbers, percentages, crude and age-
-standardized (revised Europe
an Standard Population (ESP2013) [7]) rates. The projected data for 20222023 were estimated based on linear regression. Time trends were determined using Joinpoint regression [2] using Joinpoint Trend Analysis Software.

Results

Overall national analysis

In Poland, cancer is still a growing social problem and a challenge to both economic and health systems. The most common cancers in men in 2021 were (listed as the most common):

  • prostate (21%),
  • lung (15%),
  • colon (7%),
  • bladder cancers (6%).

In women, these were:

  • breast (24%),
  • lung (9%),
  • corpus uteri (7%),
  • colon (6%),
  • thyroid gland (4%),
  • ovarian (4%) cancers.

Skin cancers also constitute a high percentage in both groups, in each sex they constitute approximately 8% of cases (tab. I).

Table I. Cancer incidence in Poland in 2021

Site

ICD-10

Absolute number

Crude rate

Stand. rate (ESP2013)

Absolute number

Crude rate

Stand. rate (ESP2013)

Males

Females

all cancers

C00–C97, D00–D09

84,275

458.9

549.5

87,283

444.7

419.7

all cancers but skin

C00–C97, D00–D09 excluded C44

77,610

422.6

499.3

80,408

409.7

386.9

oral cavity and pharynx

C00–C14

3,173

17.3

18.7

1,357

6.9

6.5

lip

C00

171

0.9

1.2

85

0.4

0.4

tongue

C01–C02

618

3.4

3.6

239

1.2

1.1

pharynx

C10–C13

780

4.2

4.4

173

0.9

0.8

digestive organs

C15–C26

17,696

96.4

116.3

13,749

70.1

65.6

oesophagus

C15

1,046

5.7

6.4

324

1.7

1.5

stomach

C16

3,010

16.4

19.8

1,747

8.9

8.3

small intestine

C17

224

1.2

1.4

215

1.1

1.0

colon

C18

5,607

30.5

38.1

4,990

25.4

24.0

rectosigmoid junction

C19

901

4.9

6.0

649

3.3

3.1

rectum

C20

3,428

18.7

22.2

2,133

10.9

10.2

anus and anal canal

C21

73

0.4

0.5

226

1.2

1.1

colorectum

C18–C21

10,009

54.5

66.6

7,998

40.8

38.4

liver

C22

828

4.5

5.3

534

2.7

2.5

gallbladder and biliary tract

C23–C24

595

3.2

4.1

880

4.5

4.2

pancreas

C25

1,864

10.2

11.9

1,923

9.8

9.1

respiratory system

C30–C39

14,417

78.5

91.9

8,791

44.8

41.0

larynx

C32

1,743

9.5

10.6

316

1.6

1.5

trachea and lung

C33–C34

12,344

67.2

79.2

8,248

42.0

38.5

bone and articular cartilage

C40–C41

214

1.2

1.2

190

1.0

1.0

neoplasms of skin

C43–C44

8,541

46.5

62.2

9,093

46.3

43.5

melanoma

C43

1,876

10.2

11.9

2,218

11.3

10.8

other neoplasms of skin

C44

6,665

36.3

50.2

6,875

35.0

32.8

mesothelial and soft tissue

C45–C49

926

5.0

5.7

842

4.3

4.1

breast

C50

167

0.9

1.1

21,079

107.4

102.2

female genital organs

C51–C58

12,662

64.5

61.0

vulva and vagina

C51–C52

620

3.2

2.9

cervix uteri

C53

2,160

11.0

10.4

corpus uteri

C54

6,024

30.7

29.0

ovary

C56

3,624

18.5

17.6

male genital organs

C60–C63

19,416

105.7

124.9

penis

C60

259

1.4

1.6

prostate

C61

17,832

97.1

116.7

testis

C62

1,303

7.1

6.5

urinary tract

C64–C68

8,662

47.2

57.1

3,940

20.1

18.8

kidney and renal pelvis

C64–C65

3,235

17.6

20.0

2,107

10.7

10.2

bladder

C67

5,301

28.9

36.3

1,742

8.9

8.2

eye

C69

238

1.3

1.5

260

1.3

1.2

central nervous system

C70–C72

1,469

8.0

8.7

1,300

6.6

6.4

brain

C71

1,375

7.5

8.1

1,195

6.1

5.8

endocrine glands

C73–C75

950

5.2

5.3

4,019

20.5

19.9

thyroid gland

C73

842

4.6

4.6

3,871

19.7

19.1

ill-defined, secondary and unspecified sites

C76–C80

1,014

5.5

6.6

1,094

5.6

5.2

lymphoid, haematopoietic and related tissue

C81–C96

5,295

28.8

33.8

4,871

24.8

23.7

Hodgkin lymphoma

C81

372

2.0

2.0

378

1.9

2.0

non-Hodgkin lymphoma

C82–C86, C96

1,863

10.1

11.8

1,768

9.0

8.5

immunoproliferative diseases

C88

69

0.4

0.4

98

0.5

0.5

multiple myeloma

C90

855

4.7

5.5

878

4.5

4.2

lymphoid leukaemia

C91

1,324

7.2

8.7

1,002

5.1

4.9

myeloid leukaemia

C92

681

3.7

4.4

645

3.3

3.1

all leukaemias

C91–C95

2,136

11.6

14.0

1,749

8.9

8.5

carcinoma in situ

D00–D09

1,504

8.2

10.5

3,486

17.8

17.0

Among the main causes of death, the most common cancer sites were in men: lung cancer (27%) and prostate cancer (11%), in women: breast cancer (16%) and lung cancer (18%) (tab. II). Detailed data on morbidity and mortality in women and men are presented in tables I and II, respectively.

Table II. Cancer deaths in Poland in 2021

Site

ICD-10

Absolute number

Crude rate

Stand. rate (ESP2013)

Absolute number

Crude rate

Stand. rate (ESP2013)

Males

Females

all cancers

C00C97, D00D09

50,581

275.4

355.0

43,071

219.5

203.3

all cancers but skin

C00C97, D00D09 excluded C44

50,484

274.9

354.1

42,988

219.0

202.9

oral cavity and pharynx

C00C14

2,300

12.5

13.9

789

4.0

3.7

lip

C00

68

0.4

0.6

40

0.2

0.2

tongue

C01C02

467

2.5

2.8

164

0.8

0.8

pharynx

C10C13

653

3.6

3.9

145

0.7

0.7

digestive organs

C15–C26

15,101

82.2

105.3

11,640

59.3

54.9

oesophagus

C15

1,157

6.3

7.3

340

1.7

1.6

stomach

C16

2,820

15.4

19.6

1,539

7.8

7.3

small intestine

C17

122

0.7

0.8

115

0.6

0.5

colon

C18

4,262

23.2

31.3

3,491

17.8

16.5

rectosigmoid junction

C19

249

1.4

1.8

176

0.9

0.8

rectum

C20

1,966

10.7

14.0

1,247

6.4

5.9

anus and anal canal

C21

93

0.5

0.6

108

0.6

0.5

colorectum

C18C21

6,570

35.8

47.7

5,022

25.6

23.8

liver

C22

1,219

6.6

8.2

876

4.5

4.1

gallbladder and biliary tract

C23C24

575

3.1

4.0

1,035

5.3

4.9

pancreas

C25

2,328

12.7

15.4

2,363

12.0

11.1

respiratory system

C30C39

14,644

79.7

97.1

8,218

41.9

38.4

larynx

C32

1,220

6.6

7.8

197

1.0

0.9

trachea and lung

C33C34

13,059

71.1

86.8

7,807

39.8

36.5

bone and articular cartilage

C40C41

179

1.0

1.2

117

0.6

0.6

neoplasms of skin

C43C44

758

4.1

5.8

699

3.6

3.3

melanoma

C43

661

3.6

4.9

616

3.1

2.9

other neoplasms of skin

C44

97

0.5

0.9

83

0.4

0.4

mesothelial and soft tissue

C45C49

601

3.3

4.1

473

2.4

2.3

breast

C50

63

0.3

0.5

6,406

32.6

30.5

female genital organs

C51C58

6,415

32.7

30.5

vulva and vagina

C51C52

401

2.0

1.9

cervix uteri

C53

1,361

6.9

6.5

corpus uteri

C54

1,647

8.4

7.8

ovary

C56

2,639

13.4

12.7

male genital organs

C60C63

5,764

31.4

47.0

penis

C60

138

0.8

1.0

prostate

C61

5,458

29.7

45.1

testis

C62

146

0.8

0.8

urinary tract

C64C68

4,558

24.8

34.1

1,849

9.4

8.6

kidney and renal pelvis

C64C65

1,491

8.1

10.4

891

4.5

4.2

bladder

C67

2,978

16.2

23.1

889

4.5

4.1

eye

C69

64

0.3

0.5

56

0.3

0.3

central nervous system

C70C72

1,471

8.0

9.3

1,376

7.0

6.6

brain

C71

1,369

7.5

8.5

1,285

6.5

6.2

endocrine glands

C73C75

134

0.7

0.9

273

1.4

1.3

thyroid gland

C73

75

0.4

0.6

200

1.0

0.9

ill-defined, secondary and unspecified sites

C76C80

2,065

11.2

14.8

2,048

10.4

9.6

lymphoid, haematopoietic and related tissue

C81C96

2,845

15.5

20.4

2,683

13.7

12.7

Hodgkin lymphoma

C81

64

0.3

0.4

60

0.3

0.3

non-Hodgkin lymphoma

C82C85, C96

817

4.4

5.8

814

4.1

3.9

immunoproliferative diseases

C88

24

0.1

0.2

19

0.1

0.1

multiple myeloma

C90

604

3.3

4.3

664

3.4

3.1

lymphoid leukaemia

C91

671

3.7

5.1

472

2.4

2.2

myeloid leukaemia

C92

548

3.0

3.8

547

2.8

2.6

all leukaemias

C91C95

1,336

7.3

9.7

1,126

5.7

5.3

carcinoma in situ

D00D09

0

0.0

0.0

0

0.0

0.0

Predictions for 2023

The publication of PNCR data has two-year intervals compared to the current year, the last year reported is 2021. Precise data for 2022 and 2023 are incomplete due to the data collection process. We have made forecasts for these years to illustrate the situation in Poland. The basis for these predictions was the years 20102021. Tables III and IV present the observed cases in 2021 and expected in 2023.

Table III. Estimated cancer cases and deaths numbers in 2023 from the most common cancers among men and women

Males

Cancer cases

Cancer deaths

Site

Absolute number

Percents

Site

Absolute number

Percents

all cancers

84,390

100%

all cancers

53,399

100%

prostate

19,745

23%

lung

14,525

27%

lung

11,525

14%

colorectum

7,375

14%

colorectum

10,304

12%

prostate

6,134

11%

bladder

5,389

6%

bladder

3,312

6%

kidney

3,108

4%

stomach

3,024

6%

stomach

2,819

3%

pancreas

2,494

5%

leukaemias

1,978

2%

leukaemias

1,543

3%

melanoma

1,969

2%

kidney

1,527

3%

pancreas

1,836

2%

brain

1,524

3%

non-Hodgkin lymphomas

1,757

2%

larynx

1,351

3%

Females

Cancer cases

Cancer deaths

Site

Absolute number

Percents

Site

Absolute number

Percents

all cancers

86,697

100%

all cancers

46,434

100%

breast

20,530

24%

lung

8,872

19%

lung

8,835

10%

breast

7,355

16%

colorectum

8,097

9%

colorectum

5,358

12%

corpus uteri

6,161

7%

ovary

2,783

6%

thyroid gland

3,969

5%

pancreas

2,586

6%

ovary

3,507

4%

corpus uteri

2,109

5%

melanoma

2,223

3%

stomach

1,555

3%

kidney

1,994

2%

cervix uteri

1,402

3%

pancreas

1,971

2%

brain

1,301

3%

bladder

1,916

2%

thyroid

1,301

3%

cervix uteri

1,875

2%

leukaemias

1,268

3%

stomach

1,733

2%

bladder

1,044

2%

Table IV. Estimated number of cancer cases in Poland in 2023 comparing to observed data in 2021

Males

Site

ICD-10

2021 – observed

2023 – expected

Absolute number

Crude rate

Stand. rate (ESP2013)

Absolute number

Crude rate

Stand. rate (ESP2013)

all cancers

C00–D09

84,275

458.9

549.5

84,390

463.9

526.4

oesophagus

C15

1,046

5.7

6.4

1,083

6.0

6.4

stomach

C16

3,010

16.4

19.8

2,819

15.5

17.9

colorectum

C18–C21

10,009

54.5

66.6

10,304

56.6

65.4

pancreas

C25

1,864

10.2

11.9

1,836

10.1

11.2

larynx

C32

1,743

9.5

10.6

1,514

8.3

9.0

lung

C33–C34

12,344

67.2

79.2

11,525

63.4

70.9

melanoma

C43

1,876

10.2

11.9

1,969

10.8

12.2

prostate

C61

17,832

97.1

116.7

19,745

108.6

121.1

kidney

C64

3,054

16.6

18.8

3,108

17.1

18.3

bladder

C67

5,301

28.9

36.3

5,389

29.6

35.1

brain

C71

1,375

7.5

8.1

1,285

7.1

7.4

Hodgkin lymphoma

C81

372

2.0

2.0

344

1.9

1.9

non-Hodgkin lymphomas

C82–C86+C96

1,863

10.1

11.8

1,757

9.7

10.8

leukaemias

C91–C95

2,136

11.6

14.0

1,978

10.9

12.4

Females

Site

ICD-10

2021 – observed

2023 – expected

Absolute number

Crude rate

Stand. rate (ESP2013)

Absolute number

Crude rate

Stand. rate (ESP2013)

all cancers

C00–D09

87,283

444.7

419.7

86,697

445.5

406.1

stomach

C16

1,747

8.9

8.3

1,733

8.9

8.0

colorectum

C18–C21

7,998

40.8

38.4

8,097

41.6

37.5

gallbladder

C23–C24

880

4.5

4.2

664

3.4

3.0

pancreas

C25

1,923

9.8

9.1

1,971

10.1

9.0

lung

C33–C34

8,248

42.0

38.5

8,835

45.4

39.6

melanoma

C43

2,218

11.3

10.8

2,223

11.4

10.6

breast

C50

21,079

107.4

102.2

20,530

105.5

97.3

cervix uteri

C53

2,160

11.0

10.4

1,875

9.6

8.9

corpus uteri

C54

6,024

30.7

29.0

6,161

31.7

28.9

ovary

C56

3,624

18.5

17.6

3,507

18.0

16.7

kidney

C64

1,984

10.1

9.6

1,994

10.2

9.3

bladder

C67

1,742

8.9

8.2

1,916

9.8

8.7

brain

C71

1,195

6.1

5.8

1,106

5.7

5.3

thyroid gland

C73

3,871

19.7

19.1

3,969

20.4

19.7

Hodgkin lymphoma

C81

378

1.9

2.0

345

1.8

1.8

non-Hodgkin lymphomas

C82–C86+C96

1,768

9.0

8.5

1,717

8.8

8.0

leukaemias

C91–C95

1,749

8.9

8.5

1,626

8.4

7.7

It is estimated that in 2023 the number of cancer cases will increase and the most frequently diagnosed cancer cases in men will remain prostate (23%), lung (14%), and colorectal cancer (12%); in women, breast (24%), lung (10%), and colorectal cancer (9%). These cancer sites will also be the leading causes of death (tab. III). Based on the crude rate (cases per 100,000), the number of cases primarily of stomach, larynx, and lung cancer in men will be noticeably lower in 2023 than in 2021. Most of the rest of the cancer sites show an increase in incidence in 2023. There will be a reduction in cases of breast and ovarian cancers by comparing crude rates among women. Mortality will increase for every cancer site in both sexes, except gallbladder in women (tab. IV and V).

Table V. Estimated number of cancer deaths in Poland in 2023 comparing to observed data in 2021

Males

Site

ICD-10

2021 – observed

2023 – expected

Absolute number

Crude rate

Stand. rate (ESP2013)

Absolute number

Crude rate

Stand. rate (ESP2013)

all cancers

C00–D09

50,581

275.4

355.0

53,399

293.6

362.6

oesophagus

C15

1,157

6.3

7.3

1,249

6.9

7.6

stomach

C16

2,820

15.4

19.6

3,024

16.6

20.3

colorectum

C18–C21

6,570

35.8

47.7

7,375

40.5

51.4

pancreas

C25

2,328

12.7

15.4

2,494

13.7

15.9

larynx

C32

1,220

6.6

7.8

1,351

7.4

8.3

lung

C33–C34

13,059

71.1

86.8

14,525

79.9

92.7

melanoma

C43

661

3.6

4.9

780

4.3

5.5

prostate

C61

5,458

29.7

45.1

6,134

33.7

47.8

kidney

C64

1,418

7.7

9.8

1,527

8.4

10.2

bladder

C67

2,978

16.2

23.1

3,312

18.2

24.5

brain

C71

1,369

7.5

8.5

1,524

8.4

9.3

Hodgkin lymphoma

C81

64

0.3

0.4

86

0.5

0.5

non-Hodgkin lymphomas

C82–C86+C96

817

4.4

5.8

1,038

5.7

7.0

leukaemias

C91–C95

1,336

7.3

9.7

1,543

8.5

10.8

Females

Site

ICD-10

2021 – observed

2023 – expected

Absolute number

Crude rate

Stand. rate (ESP2013)

Absolute number

Crude rate

Stand. rate (ESP2013)

all cancers

C00–D09

43,071

219.5

203.3

46,434

238.6

211.9

stomach

C16

1,539

7.8

7.3

1,555

8.0

7.1

colorectum

C18–C21

5,022

25.6

23.8

5,358

27.5

24.5

gallbladder

C23–C24

1,035

5.3

4.9

948

4.9

4.3

pancreas

C25

2,363

12.0

11.1

2,586

13.3

11.8

lung

C33–C34

7,807

39.8

36.5

8,872

45.6

39.8

melanoma

C43

616

3.1

2.9

684

3.5

3.1

breast

C50

6,406

32.6

30.5

7,355

37.8

34.0

cervix uteri

C53

1,361

6.9

6.5

1,402

7.2

6.5

corpus uteri

C54

1,647

8.4

7.8

2,109

10.8

9.6

ovary

C56

2,639

13.4

12.7

2,783

14.3

12.9

kidney

C64

848

4.3

4.0

883

4.5

4.0

bladder

C67

889

4.5

4.1

1,044

5.4

4.7

brain

C71

1,285

6.5

6.2

1,301

6.7

6.1

thyroid gland

C73

200

1.0

0.9

228

1.2

1.0

Hodgkin lymphoma

C81

60

0.3

0.3

65

0.3

0.3

non-Hodgkin lymphomas

C82–C86+C96

814

4.1

3.9

893

4.6

4.1

leukaemias

C91–C95

1,126

5.7

5.3

1,268

6.5

5.8

The number of cancer cases increases throughout the observation period in both sexes. Until 2007, the number of cases among men was higher than among women, after which both became equal. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a break in the trend, but the estimated data for 2021 indicate a return to the previous trend. The change in the number of deaths shows a similar trend for both sexes, an increase until 2003 and then a slowdown, although there is a clear difference in the absolute number, approximately 10,000 more deaths in men (fig. 1).

Figure 1. Cancer morbidity and mortality trends in Poland in 19802023*
*Values for 20222023 estimated based on trends in 20102021

The standardized incidence rate among both sexes increased until 2013, with varying annual percentage changes. Then, among men, this rate began to decline, and among women, the incidence rate remained at a similar level. Among men, the standardized mortality rate showed an increasing trend until 2002, when it became decreasing. Among women, the trend in the standardized mortality rate has remained at a similar level since 1980 (fig. 1). The three cancer sites with the highest incidence rate in men are: prostate, lungs, and colorectum. This order of occurrence has been maintained since 2013. Previously, lung cancer took first place, followed by prostate cancer. This change was caused by a favorable reversal of the trend in lung cancer incidence and a decrease in the incidence value since 1995 (fig. 2).

Figure 2. Incidence trends of the leading cancer sites for males, Poland 1980–2023 (2022–2023 estimation)

The highest incidence rate in women is in breast cancer; the trend has been constantly increasing since 1980. The difference between the incidence of breast cancer and other cancers in women is noticeable (fig. 3). The next cancer sites with the highest incidence rates are the lung and colorectum. For the last 30 years, colorectal cancer has taken second place, but according to predictions, in 2022 this will change and lung cancer will be the second most frequently diagnosed cancer among women (fig. 3).

Figure 3. Incidence trends of the leading cancer sites for females, Poland 19802023 (20222023 estimation)

Since the early 1970s, the most common cause of death among Polish men has been lung cancer. Since the beginning of the 21st century, we have been observing a decline in mortality due to this cancer. Data from 2021 and forecasts indicate that the trend has leveled out in the following years (fig. 4). The next causes of death are colon and prostate cancer. In the case of colorectal cancer, a slowdown in the increasing trend in mortality has been observed since 2003, and a decrease in mortality has been observed since 2018 (annual percentage change APC = –3.6% [CI: –5.3; –1.1] ) (fig. 6). After a period of stabilization of the coefficient values, an increase in mortality due to prostate cancer has been observed since 2012 (APC = 1.5 [CI: 0.6; 3.9]) (chart 6). It is also worth emphasizing the long-term downward trend in the case of stomach cancer, which became the 5th cause of death in 2015 (fig. 4).

Figure 4. Mortality trends of the leading cancer sites for males, Poland 19802023 (20222023 estimation)

In women, as in men, a temporary decrease in cancer mortality can be observed among all analyzed cancers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from 2021 and forecasts indicate that mortality rates will return to pre-pandemic levels in the coming years. Since 2007, lung cancer has been the first cause of cancer death in women. The mortality and incidence rates for lung cancer are very similar. Breast cancer remains the second cause of death, with an increasing trend in mortality since 2010 (APC = 1.1 [CI: 0.6; 2.5]) (fig. 6). Although colorectal cancer still ranks third in terms of mortality, a downward trend has been observed since 2000 (APC = –0.7% [CI: –0.9; –0.5] (fig. 6). Similarly to among men, a steady decline in stomach cancer mortality has been observed for over 6 decades.

Figure 5. Mortality trends of the leading cancer sites for females, Poland 19802023 (20222023 estimation)
Figure 6. Time trends in incidence and mortality standardized rates (ESP2013) from lung, colorectal, prostate and breast cancer in 1980–2021 based on Joinpoint regression analysis
Age group analysis

In both girls and boys (019 years of age), the most common cancer diagnoses are leukemia, brain and central nervous system (CNS) tumors. The same cancers are also the most common causes of death in children. In women, breast cancer ranks first among all age groups older than 20 years. In men, the most common diagnoses vary according to age. Testicular cancer is most common in the 2044 age group (24%), and prostate cancer is most common in older groups (over 45 years). Among the five most common cancers in adult men aged 20 to 44 years, there are also cancers of the thyroid, skin, colorectum, brain, and CNS. In women, these include thyroid cancer, skin cancer, cervix uteri cancer and cancers in situ.

In the 45+ age group in men, the first three sites of incidence include prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer, which coincides with the most common causes of death, with the exception of prostate cancer in men aged 4564, which is characterized by a much lower mortality rate in this group, and its place in the top three in terms of mortality is taken by pancreatic cancer.

In women 45+ years, the most common cancers depend on the age group. In the 4564 group, the most common breast cancer survivors are corpus uteri and lung cancer, and in the 65+ group, lung and colorectal cancer. The first two causes of cancer death in women over 40 years of age are lung and breast cancer. The exact incidence and mortality values for the most common cancers by sex and age are presented in tables VI and VII, respectively.

Table VI. The incidence of the 5 most common cancer sites in Poland in 2021, depending on sex and age

Males

019 years

2044 years

4564 years

65+ years

Number

Percents

Number

Percents

Number

Percents

Number

Percents

all cancers

all cancers

all cancers

all cancers

691

100%

4,199

100%

23,891

100%

55,494

100%

leukaemias

(C91C95)

testis

(C62)

prostate

(C61)

prostate

(C61)

180

26%

1,001

24%

4,091

17%

13,715

25%

brain and CNS

(C71C72)

thyroid

(C73)

lung

(C33C34)

lung

(C33C34)

117

16%

277

7%

3,571

15%

8,668

16%

non-Hodgkin lymphomas
(C82
C85+C96)

melanoma

(C43)

colorectum

(C18C21)

colorectum

(C18C21)

72

10%

273

7%

2,955

12%

6,783

12%

Hodgkin lymphoma (C81)

colorectum

(C18C21)

kidney and renal pelvis

(C64C65)

other and unspecified malignant neoplasm of skin

(C44)

56

8%

267

6%

1,271

5%

5,225

9%

other connective and soft tissue

(C49)

brain and CNS

(C71C72)

other and unspecified malignant neoplasm of skin

(C44)

bladder

(C67)

45

7%

257

6%

1,231

5%

3,756

7%

Females

019 years

2044 years

4564 years

65+ years

Number

Percents

Number

Percents

Number

Percents

Number

Percents

all cancers

all cancers

all cancers

all cancers

605

100%

8,934

100%

28,912

100%

48,832

100%

leukaemias

(C91C95)

breast

(C50)

breast

(C50)

breast

(C50)

148

24%

2,501

28%

9,104

31%

9,472

19%

brain and CNS

(C71C72)

thyroid

(C73)

corpus uteri

(C54)

lung

(C33C34)

92

15%

1,631

18%

2,464

9%

5,969

12%

thyroid

(C73)

cancer in situ

(D00–D09)

lung

(C33C34)

colorectum

(C18C21)

56

9%

1,010

11%

2,190

8%

5,561

11%

Hodgkin lymphoma (C81)

melanoma

(C43)

colorectum

(C18C21)

other and unspecified malignant neoplasm of skin

(C44)

52

9%

503

6%

2,126

7%

5,206

11%

kidney and renal pelvis
(C64
C65)

cervix uteri

(C53)

ovary

(C56)

corpus uteri

(C54)

34

6%

437

5%

1,533

5%

3,342

7%

Table VII. The mortality of the 5 most common cancer sites in Poland in 2021, depending on sex and age

Males

019 years

2044 years

4564 years

65+ years

Number

Percents

Number

Percents

Number

Percents

Number

Percents

all cancers

all cancers

all cancers

all cancers

107

100%

974

100%

12,665

100%

36,835

100%

brain and CNS

(C71C72)

brain and CNS

(C71C72)

lung

(C33C34)

lung

(C33C34)

34

32%

131

13%

3,580

28%

9,419

26%

leukaemias

(C91C95)

colorectum

(C18C21)

colorectum

(C18C21)

colorectum

(C18C21)

25

23%

100

10%

1,411

11%

5,057

14%

bone and articular cartilage

(C40C41)

testis

(C62)

pancreas

(C25)

prostate

(C61)

12

11%

93

10%

763

6%

4,989

14%

other connective and soft tissue

(C49)

lung

(C33C34)

stomach

(C16)

bladder

(C67)

12

11%

60

6%

759

6%

2,008

5%

liver

(C22)

leukaemias

(C91C95)

brain and CNS

(C71C72)

stomach

(C16)

5

5%

58

6%

516

4%

1,815

5%

Females

019 years

2044 years

4564 years

65+ years

Number

Percents

Number

Percents

Number

Percents

Number

Percents

all cancers

all cancers

all cancers

all cancers

75

100%

1,084

9,633

32,279

brain and CNS (C71–C72)

breast (C50)

lung (C33–C34)

lung (C33–C34)

31

41%

287

26%

1,830

19%

5,931

18%

leukaemias (C91–C95)

cervix uteri (C53)

breast (C50)

breast (C50)

16

21%

114

11%

1,706

18%

4,413

14%

other connective and soft tissue (C49)

colorectum (C18–C21)

ovary (C56)

colorectum (C18–C21)

4

5%

96

9%

856

9%

4,070

13%

kidney and renal pelvis
(C64–C65)

brain and CNS (C71–C72)

colorectum (C18–C21)

pancreas (C25)

4

5%

89

8%

855

9%

1,849

6%

non-Hodgkin lymphomas
(C82–C85+C96)

ovary (C56)

cervix uteri (C53)

ovary (C56)

4

3%

75

7%

501

5%

1,706

5%

Geographical analysis

In 2021, the most cancer cases were recorded in the Śląskie and Mazowieckie Voivodship, which also have the largest population. The fewest cases were recorded in the Lubuskie Voivodship. Among the most common cancers in Poland, especially in the Mazowieckie, Śląskie, and Dolnośląskie Voivodships, lung cancer ranks high, where the highest mortality rate is also observed (tab. VIII).

Table VIII. Numbers of incidences and deaths for the most common malignant tumors among men in 2021 by voivodships

Voivodship

All
cancers

Stomach

Colorectum1

Pancreas

Lung

Melanoma

Prostate

Kidney

Bladder

non-Hodgkin lymphomas2

Leukaemias3

Incidence

Dolnośląskie

6,543

215

774

154

1,005

200

1,275

249

468

152

172

Kujawsko-Pomorskie

5,080

197

566

95

893

108

994

195

348

94

68

Lubelskie

4,667

151

488

81

585

80

1,158

197

369

93

125

Lubuskie

1,939

83

236

48

283

27

458

103

110

29

32

Łódzkie

5,462

204

665

119

759

150

1,067

187

304

139

251

Małopolskie

6,759

228

749

151

882

142

1,321

220

380

201

167

Mazowieckie

9,994

370

1,193

245

1,611

242

1,994

345

545

279

249

Opolskie

2,390

75

303

47

309

60

474

89

165

46

55

Podkarpackie

4,369

161

541

118

562

122

881

183

200

113

124

Podlaskie

2,647

65

352

61

312

59

652

110

165

46

53

Pomorskie

6,018

191

566

88

861

105

1,629

225

510

105

73

Śląskie

10,605

427

1,447

246

1,561

199

2,240

320

670

238

314

Świętokrzyskie

3,368

117

383

76

470

66

802

100

228

80

89

Warmińsko-Mazurskie

2,980

98

381

54

533

61

520

104

172

63

111

Wielkopolskie

8,229

292

1,025

226

1,091

183

1,675

313

455

154

209

Zachodniopomorskie

3,225

136

340

55

627

72

692

114

212

31

44

Poland

84,275

3,010

10,009

1,864

12,344

1,876

17,832

3,054

5,301

1,863

2,136

Deaths

Dolnośląskie

3,940

231

497

219

1,013

48

426

117

226

55

82

Kujawsko-Pomorskie

2,828

158

344

146

860

36

306

59

182

50

75

Lubelskie

2,657

129

368

112

643

30

290

105

140

36

83

Lubuskie

1,205

61

142

56

369

16

132

21

65

23

25

Łódzkie

3,404

198

487

136

926

36

322

83

205

46

98

Małopolskie

4,283

253

516

179

997

63

510

125

303

65

125

Mazowieckie

6,747

358

852

328

1,825

94

713

166

399

120

178

Opolskie

1,284

67

186

45

305

18

140

40

83

20

41

Podkarpackie

2,395

160

320

97

517

39

297

63

121

47

59

Podlaskie

1,488

76

198

59

369

23

179

45

88

22

45

Pomorskie

3,090

169

353

180

816

39

339

86

171

42

90

Śląskie

6,599

404

894

270

1,597

83

653

172

372

94

161

Świętokrzyskie

1,839

98

231

84

454

19

234

61

122

33

43

Warmińsko-Mazurskie

1,862

97

257

75

516

28

220

58

89

66

47

Wielkopolskie

4,571

233

636

231

1,180

54

461

142

295

63

119

Zachodniopomorskie

2,389

128

289

111

672

35

236

75

117

35

65

Poland

50,581

2,820

6,570

2,328

13,059

661

5,458

1,418

2,978

817

1,336

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women, with the highest incidence in the Mazowieckie, Śląskie, and Wielkopolskie Voivodships, accounting for a total of 35% of cases throughout the country. However, in terms of women’s mortality, the leader is lung cancer, which is responsible for 14.6% of deaths in the Mazowieckie Voivodship (tab. IX).

Table IX. Number of incidences and deaths for the most common malignant tumors among women in 2021 by voivodships

Voivodship

All
cancers

Colorectum1

Lung

Breast

Cervix uteri

Corpus uteri

Ovary

Kidney

Bladder

non-Hodgkin lymphomas2

Leukaemias3

Incidence

Dolnośląskie

7,276

637

720

1,808

167

451

313

156

166

142

173

Kujawsko-Pomorskie

5,468

445

662

1,254

117

317

245

144

116

83

43

Lubelskie

4,431

375

371

1,035

98

335

189

138

97

103

115

Lubuskie

1,913

171

194

451

55

115

92

73

47

24

33

Łódzkie

6,162

543

546

1,539

156

440

296

119

114

138

207

Małopolskie

7,376

649

526

1,727

147

531

298

124

103

173

141

Mazowieckie

10,987

886

1,146

2,990

258

732

325

207

170

251

242

Opolskie

2,275

241

194

541

63

209

94

49

30

53

42

Podkarpackie

4,288

396

277

1,014

84

374

192

98

64

113

107

Podlaskie

2,716

262

189

629

75

193

121

74

54

34

25

Pomorskie

5,547

471

703

1,300

151

309

182

149

178

106

55

Śląskie

10,315

1,152

1,019

2,336

283

768

559

226

240

212

207

Świętokrzyskie

3,015

293

234

643

90

241

118

94

57

69

71

Warmińsko-Mazurskie

3,299

309

353

702

96

169

145

67

66

76

105

Wielkopolskie

8,373

828

663

2,137

213

568

324

193

139

151

153

Zachodniopomorskie

3,842

340

451

973

107

272

131

73

101

40

30

Poland

87,283

7,998

8,248

21,079

2,160

6,024

3,624

1,984

1,742

1,768

1,749

Deaths

Dolnośląskie

3,511

403

662

451

91

128

217

79

72

59

80

Kujawsko-Pomorskie

2,462

293

570

356

64

76

139

46

30

44

60

Lubelskie

2,154

255

337

307

83

104

160

31

31

36

69

Lubuskie

1,053

119

215

143

34

31

66

24

27

21

27

Łódzkie

3,004

354

553

459

88

97

189

54

54

37

100

Małopolskie

3,666

410

540

550

117

179

225

74

78

84

110

Mazowieckie

5,830

652

1,143

895

192

223

335

117

106

116

142

Opolskie

1,140

153

178

184

44

40

58

33

19

20

33

Podkarpackie

1,899

221

242

295

62

108

124

40

31

43

63

Podlaskie

1,214

169

177

196

51

50

73

29

27

22

39

Pomorskie

2,548

291

540

337

89

75

144

43

57

49

57

Śląskie

5,691

689

938

908

157

227

384

103

122

84

128

Świętokrzyskie

1,365

153

185

214

49

72

104

28

33

23

46

Warmińsko-Mazurskie

1,507

154

305

206

51

58

70

43

43

71

36

Wielkopolskie

3,934

475

745

641

122

114

246

64

106

64

81

Zachodniopomorskie

2,093

231

477

264

67

65

105

40

53

41

55

Poland

43,071

5,022

7,807

6,406

1,361

1,647

2,639

848

889

814

1,126

In most voivodships, the most common malignant tumor in men in 2021 was prostate cancer, with the largest share in the Wielkopolskie Voivodship (27%). Only in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodship is lung cancer the most common disease, with a share of approximately 18% (tab. X).

Table X. Standardized rates of morbidity and mortality for the most common malignant neoplasms in men in Poland in 2021 by voivodships

Voivodship

All
cancers

Stomach

Colorectum1

Pancreas

Lung

Melanoma

Prostate

Kidney

Bladder

non-Hodgkin lymphomas2

Leukaemias3

Incidence rates (ESP2013)

Dolnośląskie

556.3

18.5

66.9

12.9

84.7

16.3

108.1

20.4

41.0

12.6

15.6

Kujawsko-Pomorskie

618.3

24.0

70.8

11.6

105.8

13.1

118.5

22.5

45.3

10.7

8.7

Lubelskie

544.9

17.2

58.6

9.1

65.6

9.1

137.0

21.9

46.2

10.8

14.6

Lubuskie

482.3

22.0

58.7

11.4

70.0

7.4

112.3

23.8

28.2

8.8

9.1

Łódzkie

528.0

20.1

65.7

11.9

71.6

14.6

102.1

17.0

30.9

13.0

24.6

Małopolskie

511.5

17.7

57.9

11.5

66.6

10.7

101.8

15.8

30.9

14.5

12.1

Mazowieckie

469.6

17.6

56.6

11.5

75.5

10.7

94.2

15.3

26.6

13.0

12.3

Opolskie

589.7

19.6

76.7

11.6

76.1

14.7

113.6

20.1

41.2

10.2

14.7

Podkarpackie

528.5

19.8

67.1

14.2

69.4

14.3

109.9

20.4

25.4

13.2

14.0

Podlaskie

565.7

14.2

76.0

11.8

66.9

12.3

141.7

22.7

36.1

9.2

10.9

Pomorskie

674.3

20.5

65.3

9.6

95.8

11.0

182.5

23.6

61.7

11.0

8.2

Śląskie

562.9

23.0

78.4

12.4

81.1

10.3

120.5

16.1

36.6

12.5

16.3

Świętokrzyskie

624.9

22.2

71.5

14.5

84.6

12.0

143.6

17.9

43.5

15.1

16.3

Warmińsko-Mazurskie

553.8

17.2

70.7

9.7

93.8

11.9

98.9

17.9

34.2

11.0

21.4

Wielkopolskie

619.1

22.2

80.4

16.6

80.8

13.4

125.8

22.1

36.2

10.5

15.7

Zachodniopomorskie

455.8

19.5

49.0

7.5

85.3

10.0

99.0

14.5

30.3

4.3

6.7

Poland

549.5

19.8

66.6

11.9

79.2

11.9

116.7

18.8

36.3

11.8

14.0

Mortality rates (ESP2013)

Dolnośląskie

363.6

21.2

47.0

19.1

89.2

5.2

46.0

10.8

23.5

5.2

8.2

Kujawsko-Pomorskie

371.3

19.8

47.0

18.6

108.1

5.2

48.3

7.1

27.7

5.9

10.6

Lubelskie

331.3

15.3

47.5

13.9

76.2

4.0

42.5

13.1

19.3

4.8

10.6

Lubuskie

331.8

17.1

39.9

13.7

94.7

5.0

46.6

5.4

19.7

5.6

7.4

Łódzkie

352.2

20.7

51.7

13.8

90.4

3.6

38.0

8.2

24.0

4.7

10.3

Małopolskie

352.9

20.5

43.3

14.1

78.7

5.7

48.6

10.5

27.4

5.3

10.3

Mazowieckie

337.5

17.7

44.3

15.7

87.4

4.8

40.9

8.1

21.8

6.1

9.1

Opolskie

337.1

17.3

50.7

11.3

75.5

4.9

42.3

10.2

22.8

5.1

11.1

Podkarpackie

315.0

20.3

43.0

11.5

64.0

5.0

45.6

8.1

18.2

6.8

8.0

Podlaskie

340.3

18.3

47.3

13.4

80.6

5.7

45.1

10.0

21.2

4.6

10.8

Pomorskie

368.8

19.5

44.3

20.3

92.6

4.5

48.8

10.4

22.4

5.1

11.1

Śląskie

374.0

23.0

52.6

13.9

86.6

5.1

43.1

9.6

22.1

5.6

9.3

Świętokrzyskie

368.4

20.2

47.4

15.5

83.7

3.7

54.6

12.1

27.3

7.3

9.1

Warmińsko-Mazurskie

384.9

18.9

55.5

14.2

96.7

5.3

59.5

10.9

20.8

13.2

10.6

Wielkopolskie

368.2

18.6

53.9

17.4

89.8

4.7

44.0

11.5

26.7

5.1

9.8

Zachodniopomorskie

365.2

20.2

43.8

16.2

96.1

6.3

44.3

11.6

19.9

6.0

10.0

Poland

355.0

19.6

47.7

15.4

86.8

4.9

45.1

9.8

23.1

5.8

9.7

The structure of cancer incidence in women by voivodship repeats one pattern: in all voivodships, breast cancer comes first, with its share ranging from 21% (Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodship) to 27% (Mazowieckie Voivodship), and the second place is lung cancer, from 7% to 13%, followed by colorectal cancer, 810% (tab. XI).

Table XI. Standardized rates of morbidity and mortality for the most common malignant neoplasms in women in Poland in 2021 by voivodships

Voivodship

All
cancers

Colorectum1

Lung

Breast

Cervix uteri

Corpus uteri

Ovary

Kidney

Bladder

non-Hodgkin lymphomas2

Leukaemias3

Incidence rates (ESP2013)

Dolnośląskie

444.9

38.6

42.1

112.0

10.0

10.0

19.2

9.8

9.7

8.8

10.9

Kujawsko-Pomorskie

493.3

40.0

57.8

113.7

10.6

10.6

22.2

12.9

10.2

7.7

4.2

Lubelskie

381.9

32.0

30.9

90.8

8.3

8.3

16.4

12.2

8.1

8.8

9.9

Lubuskie

351.6

31.8

34.8

82.5

9.9

9.9

16.7

13.6

8.4

4.3

6.5

Łódzkie

429.1

37.1

35.8

108.7

11.2

11.2

21.1

8.5

7.9

9.9

15.0

Małopolskie

417.6

37.0

29.9

97.8

8.2

8.2

17.4

7.2

5.8

9.9

8.0

Mazowieckie

373.1

30.0

38.1

102.7

8.8

8.8

11.3

7.0

5.7

8.5

8.2

Opolskie

416.5

43.8

34.5

99.3

12.1

12.1

17.2

8.7

5.6

10.0

7.5

Podkarpackie

390.9

36.0

25.2

92.8

7.7

7.7

17.5

8.9

5.7

10.6

9.9

Podlaskie

426.4

41.2

29.3

99.5

12.2

12.2

19.4

11.9

8.1

5.2

3.7

Pomorskie

462.7

39.9

57.4

109.6

12.5

12.5

15.4

12.4

15.0

8.9

4.6

Śląskie

407.4

45.0

38.4

92.8

11.6

11.6

22.3

8.9

9.2

8.4

8.6

Świętokrzyskie

435.9

41.6

32.1

95.1

13.3

13.3

17.1

13.4

7.8

9.6

10.2

Warmińsko-Mazurskie

444.5

42.2

46.2

95.3

12.8

12.8

19.3

8.9

8.6

10.1

14.2

Wielkopolskie

462.4

46.4

36.2

118.6

11.6

11.6

17.6

10.8

7.4

8.1

8.3

Zachodniopomorskie

413.2

36.0

45.2

105.8

11.6

11.6

14.2

8.0

11.1

4.5

3.4

Poland

419.7

38.4

38.5

102.2

10.4

10.4

17.6

9.6

8.2

8.5

8.5

Mortality rates (ESP2013)

Dolnośląskie

210.4

24.3

39.6

27.2

5.4

7.6

13.2

4.8

4.2

3.4

4.7

Kujawsko-Pomorskie

219.1

26.6

50.0

31.5

5.6

6.7

12.8

3.9

2.6

3.9

5.4

Lubelskie

180.1

21.2

28.1

25.6

7.2

8.6

13.8

2.8

2.4

3.0

5.8

Lubuskie

195.5

22.5

39.1

25.9

6.1

5.9

12.0

4.7

5.3

4.1

5.3

Łódzkie

198.5

23.3

35.7

31.2

5.9

6.4

12.6

3.7

3.5

2.4

6.8

Małopolskie

203.3

22.6

30.4

30.5

6.5

10.0

12.6

4.1

4.2

4.8

6.0

Mazowieckie

193.2

21.3

38.0

30.0

6.5

7.4

11.5

3.9

3.4

3.8

4.5

Opolskie

204.2

27.0

31.0

33.2

8.1

7.4

10.2

5.8

3.4

3.6

6.1

Podkarpackie

170.4

20.1

22.0

26.9

5.5

9.4

11.2

3.6

2.6

3.8

5.4

Podlaskie

181.9

24.9

27.3

29.3

8.0

7.2

11.1

4.2

4.0

3.3

6.0

Pomorskie

212.3

24.8

44.3

28.2

7.3

6.1

11.9

3.6

4.6

4.1

4.7

Śląskie

220.5

26.8

35.6

35.4

6.2

8.8

15.1

3.9

4.7

3.3

5.0

Świętokrzyskie

187.9

20.7

25.1

29.5

6.8

9.8

14.6

3.6

4.4

3.1

6.5

Warmińsko-Mazurskie

202.8

21.0

40.2

28.1

6.9

7.7

9.4

5.5

6.0

9.6

4.7

Wielkopolskie

218.2

26.9

40.5

35.9

6.8

6.4

13.8

3.6

5.8

3.6

4.4

Zachodniopomorskie

223.4

24.5

49.9

28.6

7.1

7.1

11.3

4.3

5.5

4.5

6.2

Poland

203.3

23.8

36.5

30.5

6.5

7.8

12.7

4.0

4.1

3.9

5.3

Discussion

In 2021, the number of new cancer cases and deaths was similar to the data for 2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the Polish National Cancer Registry registered 171,558 new cancer incidences and 93,652 deaths, while in 2019 it was 171,218 new cancer cases and 100,324 deaths [8].

The morbidity trends observed over many years and the mortality rate due to malignant tumors in Poland are determined by both the age structure of the population and changes in the Polish population’s exposure to carcinogens, mainly associated with smoking (in 2023 the percentage of men and women smoking was equal, 21% of adults smoke). In 2021, the number of women who died of lung cancer exceeded that of women who died of breast cancer by 1389 deaths.

The most common disease in men is prostate cancer with 21%, characterized by a dynamic increase in incidence and a plateau in long-term mortality, which, however, has been increasing since 2004. In the male population, a reduction in the incidence and mortality rate of lung cancer has been observed in the last 15 years, mainly attributable to the reduction in the percentage of men who smoke in recent decades.

In the female population, the main cancer sites are still breast, lung, colorectum, and cervix uteri. Lung cancer is still the leading cause of death in women (18%) and is superior to breast cancer (14.9%). Breast cancer dominates women and has been characterized by ever-increasing incidence over the past half century. The mortality rate of breast cancer has changed several times over the past 30 years. The initial increase in mortality was stopped in the mid-1990s, and a decline in mortality was recorded in the years 19962010. During the period 20102021, there was an unfavorable change in the trend. Colorectal cancer has been the third most common cause of cancer death in recent years.

Infection with the SARS-Cov2 virus among cancer patients in 2021 caused 11,640 deaths. Most deaths due to COVID-19 were found in patients with digestive system cancers (17%), lymphatic, lymphatic tissue and related tissue cancers (15%), cancers of the respiratory system (14%), and male genital cancers (14%).

Conclusions

Deaths from COVID-19 are still a competitive cause of death compared to cancer. Both data from 2021 and forecasts until 2023 indicate that after a temporary reduction in cancer morbidity and mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic, both values will return to the trends presented before the pandemic.

In Poland in 2021, the most frequently diagnosed cancers among men were prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers. Among women, the main cancer sites remain: breast, lung, and colorectum. Mortality from colorectal cancer has been on downward trend since 2015, and this decreasing trend continues. A still disturbing phenomenon is the higher mortality rate than morbidity for lung cancer among men, and the similar number of lung cancer cases and deaths in women.

Strengths and limitations of the report

The analysis covers the entire population of Poland, and is the best source of cancer incidence data. Cancer registration in the Polish National Cancer Registry (PNCR) is mandatory, ensuring a high level of completeness of the data.

Article information and declarations

Data availability statement

The presented data come from the Polish National Cancer Registry (PNCR) and is available at https://onkologia.org.pl/.

Author contributions

Joanna A. Didkowska devised the project, the main conceptual ideas and proof outline.

Klaudia Barańska performed the analysis, wrote the manuscript with input from all authors.

Marta J. Miklewska performed the analysis, wrote the manuscript with input from all authors.

Urszula Wojciechowska performed the analysis, devised the project, the main conceptual ideas and proof outline.

Conflict of interest

None declared

Marta J. Miklewska

Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology

Polish National Cancer Registry

ul. Roentgena 5

02-781 Warszawa, Poland

e-mail: marta.miklewska@nio.gov.pl

Received: 22 Jan. 2024

Accepted: 30 Jan. 2024

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