Cancer Prevention
World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day 2021


In marking World Cancer Day

The Israel Cancer Association

And the Ministry of Health Reveal New Statistics

Updated statistics on cancer morbidity and mortality: a decrease in incidence rates (new cases) and cancer mortality rates. By global comparison, Israel ranks relatively high in morbidity rates, but relatively low in mortality rates

Updated statistics on bladder cancer: Smoking is the main risk factor in this cancer type. Despite early detection in the past 20 years, survival and mortality rates remain unchanged

Ahead of World Cancer Day, marked annually by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) on February 4th worldwide, the Israel Cancer Association and the Ministry of Health reveal the latest statistics on cancer in Israel:

The National Cancer Registry statistics show that approx. 31,000 new cancer patients were diagnosed in 2018, about 27,000 of them with invasive cancer. Prostate cancer was the most prevalent cancer diagnosis in Jewish and Other men and lung cancer in Arab men. Breast cancer was most prevalent in women (Jewish/Other and Arab).

In 2018, about 11,000 people died of invasive cancer. The most prevalent death cause amongst men was lung cancer(Jewish/Other and Arab) and breast cancer in women (Jewish/Other and Arab). The risk of cancer mortality was higher in men of both population groups (Jewish/Other and Arab) compared to women. A significant decrease was shown in cancer mortality rates across all population and gender

Prof. Lital Keinan-Boker, Director of the Israel Center for Disease Control (ICDC) of the Ministry of Health, explained: "By global comparison (according to Global Cancer Observatory) cancer incidence rates (the number of new cases) in Israel is higher than the global average, but Israel ranks relatively low (number 45) amongst the 50 countries with the highest cancer rates in the world. In terms of cancer mortality rates, Israel is ranked 89 amongst the countries with highest rates in the world, despite the relatively high incidence rate. This indicates a relatively high application of early detection for the most prevalent cancer types as well as an effective, updated treatment made accessible to all citizens through the national healthcare funds."

Further statistics show that the main cancer types, responsible for more than 50% of the total mortality in Israeli men, were similar in Jews/Other and Arabs and included prostate cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and bladder cancer.  However, in Jewish/Other men, prostate cancer comprised about 20% of the total invasive tumors compared to 11% in Arab men, and invasive melanoma was responsible for 5% of the cases in Jewish/Other men, while amongst Arab men, this type was very rare (about 1%). In addition, lung cancer comprised about 19% of the total invasive tumors amongst Arab men, compared to 11% in Jewish men.

Similarity in prevalent cancer types was also seen amongst women. In both population groups, breast tumors constituted about a third of the total tumors, and colorectal tumors constituted 10-11% of all tumors. Lung cancer, thyroid cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and uterine cancer were also among the common tumors in women.

In terms of incidence rates, Jews have a higher incidence rate than Arabs, and similar rates between women and men. Incidence rates amongst Arabs are slightly higher in men than in women. In all population and gender groups, invasive cancer incidence rates increases with age.

In terms of incidence trends in the two decades between 1996-2018: Men show a clear decrease in statistics – in Jews/Other since 2007; in Arabs since 2006. In Jewish/Other women, a decrease was shown between 2014-2017, while in Arab women, an increase with varying pace was seen throughout 1996-2007, then stabilized.

Cancer Survival trends – about 93,000 Israelis diagnosed with invasive cancer between 2014 - 2018 survived by the end of 2018.

Updated Statistics on Bladder Cancer in Israel

The incidence in Jews and Other in recent years is on a clear downward trend, possibly
linked to reduced smoking rates

In 2018, 1,775 patients were diagnosed with bladder cancer in Israel, more than 80% of them men. The incidence rate (new cases diagnosed) in men is more than 4 times greater compared to women, and similar between Jewish/Other men and Arab men. The incidence rate was slightly higher in Jewish/Other women compared to Arab women. The majority of morbidity was seen in age 55 and up.  

In recent years, a clear downward trend has been recorded in incidence rates in Jewish/Other (since 2006 in men; since 1996 in women). In Arabs (men and women), the incidence trend has been stable throughout the period (1996-2018).

Prof. Lital Keinan-Boker, Director of the Israel Center for Disease Control (ICDC) of the Ministry of Health, explained: "The first and most common sign of cancer bladder is occult hematuria or gross hematuria in the urine. Currently, there is no standard, efficient screening test for early detection of bladder cancer amongst a-symptomatic patients. Early detection of a cancerous tumor affects the management of the disease and its outcome. Detecting cancer in-situ is considered early detection which enables a more effective treatment and a better prognosis. The percentage of bladder cancer detected in-situ has increased over the years concurrently with a decrease in the number of invasive cases during diagnosis.

In 2018, 401 patients died of bladder cancer, 77% of which were men. The mortality rate amongst men is more than 4 times greater compared to women, and similar between Jewish/Other men and Arab men and between Jewish/Other women and Arab women.

Mortality in Jewish/Other has been stable in recent years (in men – since 2007; in women – since 1996). Mortality trends has been stable throughout the period (1996-2008) amongst Arabs as well.

The Israel Cancer Association World Cancer Day Activities 

National Online Activity for Middle School and High School

The Israel Cancer Association (the ICA) runs national activities for middle school and high school students, in collaboration with "Eshkolot Pais" in order to raise awareness and encourage youth to adopt a healthy lifestyle, which reduces the risk of developing cancer, and avoiding risk factors.

As part of the activity, which is held online (on Zoom) this year, students and teachers in different cities across Israel will learn about the "12 Rules for a Healthy Lifestyle"(based on the European Code), and habits that may reduce the risk of cancer morbidity and mortality. They will:

  • Listen to short, pre-recorded lectures by top researchers and doctors in their fields about what cancer is and how one might try and prevent it.

  • Watch a short movie featuring famous leading athletes talking about the habits they adopted in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

  • Be divided into virtual 'round tables' and participate in an activity aimed at increasing their social engagement and expanding their circles of influence by using social networks that address teenagers, while focusing on Tik-Tok. The purpose of this activity is that each groups walks away with a meaningful product that will go viral on social networks and elicit behavioral change amongst youth.

 Launch A New Campaign

The ICA produced a new campaign this year titled: "Reducing", slated to air on the radio and social networks. The infomercial was produced by BBDO Gitam advertising agency on a voluntary basis.

The campaign reiterates that lifestyle changes such as increased walking, using the stairs instead on an elevator and substituting high-calorie, fatty foods for vegetables – can reduce cancer risk by about 50%. 

The campaign is narrated by Yiftach Hotzev who volunteered his time, and the infomercial, translated into Arabic and broadcasted on Arabic radio, will launch with a short video on social networks.

The ICA Information Center Presents New Researches:

Self‐reported physical activity, sitting time, and mental and physical health among older cancer survivors compared with adults without a history of cancer
First published: 20 October 2020, Cancer Magazine

Click here for the full article.


Genetic Factors, Adherence to Healthy Lifestyle Behavior, and Risk of Invasive Breast Cancer Among Women in the UK Biobank
JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Volume 112, Issue 9, September 2020

Click here for the full article.

Personal use of permanent hair dyes and cancer risk and mortality in US women: prospective cohort study

BMJ 2020, Published 02 September 2020

Click here for the full article.


Effect of time of day of recreational and household physical activity on prostate and breast cancer risk
IJC, First published: 25 September 2020

Click here for the full article.