A news article published by myjoyonline.com on February 6, 2021, claims: “Over 15,000 Ghanaians died of cancer last year.”

According to the report the claim was made by the President of Breast Care International (BCI), Dr Beatrice Wiafe Addai who referenced the Global Cancer, Mortality and Prevalence report(GLOBOCAN 2020) as the source of the data.

“The Global Cancer, Mortality and Prevalence report indicated that more than 24,000 new cases are recorded in the country annually… The 2020 global cancer figures show liver cancer recorded 3,166 deaths, cervical cancer killed 1,699, and prostate cancer caused 1,117 deaths in the country,” the article said.



GLOBOCAN is a project by the International Agency for Research on Cancer(IARC)  that provides global cancer statistics and estimates of incidence and mortality in 185 countries for 36 types of cancer. The IARC released on 14th December the updated GLOBOCAN 2020 with new estimates on the global cancer burden.



The GLOBOCAN 2020 Ghana Factsheet shows the country is estimated to have recorded 15,802 cancer-related deaths and provides statistic in other demography including the number of new cancer cases for both sexes and all ages, risk of developing cancer before the age of 75 among others.

According to the report, the country-specific data source for cancer incidence was from the Kumasi Cancer Registry and the method used was based on the most recent rates from a single registry applied to the 2020 population.



“There are no national mortality data available in Ghana. These figures were estimated from the corresponding national incidence estimates, taking into account the estimated cancer-specific case-fatality (modeling of incidence-to-mortality ratios derived from cancer registries) in Sub Saharan Africa,” Head of Cancer Surveillance Section at International Agency for Research on Cancer Dr Freddie Bray explained in an email to GhanaFact.

Find here an assessment of GLOBOCAN methods for deriving national estimates of cancer incidence published by the World Health Organisation.



The GLOBOCAN 2020 report estimates that Ghana recorded 15,802 cancer-related deaths. The figure is an estimate and does not represent actual national mortality data.


Researched Gifty Tracy Aminu