In 2013, 8154 new cancer cases were registered in Estonia. The percent of morphologically confirmed cases was 91%. About half of the cancer cases were diagnosed when the tumour was locally spread, while 20% of the patients had developed distant metastases by the time of diagnosis.
Similarly to other European countries, cancer incidence is continuing to increase in Estonia. The leading sites in 2013 were prostate and lung cancer among men and breast and non-melanoma skin cancer among women. Temporal trends in cancer incidence vary across sites. The incidence of prostate, breast, colorectal cancer, melanoma and malignant lymphoid tumours continue to increase while incidence of stomach cancer is decreasing. A steady decline has been apparent in the incidence of lung cancer in men since the late 1990s but among women the incidence rates have been stable, with a slight increase in incidence during the most recent years. The incidence of cervical cancer has been rising since early 2000s, with no change in mortality, since it largely affects younger women.
The incidence statistics is based on the Estonian Cancer Registry, which is a subunit of the National Institute for Health Development. Detailed statistics by year of diagnosis, cancer site, sex and age groups can be accessed on the Health Statistics and Health Research Database (available at
Cancer survival is increasing in Estonia – more than half of the patients live more than five years after the beginning of treatment. Cancer diagnosed in early stages is usually curable.
Data of cancer mortality is based on the Estonian Causes of Death Registry (available at http://pxweb.tai.ee/esf/pxweb2008/Database_en/Population/04Deaths/04Deaths.asp)
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