Cancer was still the cause of death for slightly over 1.3 million persons in the European Union in 2014. It was responsible for just over a quarter (26%) of all deaths. Men (731 300 deaths due to cancer) were more affected than women (575 300). In addition, fatal cancers represented 38% of all deaths for the EU population aged less than 65, while this level was below a quarter (24%) for the older population (those aged 65 years and over).
Main fatal cancer: lung cancer for men, breast cancer for women
Leading to the death of almost 272 000 persons (or 21% of all deaths due to cancer), lung cancer remained the main type of fatal cancer in the EU, followed by colorectal cancer (152 200 or 12%), breast cancer (93 500 or 16%), pancreas cancer (83 300 or 6%) and prostate cancer (74 000 or 10% of all fatal cancers for the male population only).
Highest share of deaths due to cancer in Slovenia, the Netherlands and Ireland
Cancer was the cause of at least 30% of deaths in Ireland, the Netherlands and Slovenia (all 31%) as well as Denmark and Luxembourg (both 30%), while it represented a fifth or less of all causes of death in Bulgaria (17%), Lithuania and Romania (both 20%).
In every EU Member State, fatal cancers killed more men than women, with the highest gender gaps being observed in Cyprus, Greece and Spain (in these two Member States, men accounted for over 61% of all fatal cancer in 2014), followed by Portugal and Romania.