Cancer Burden

All cancer data for Slovenia is available at:

Cancer in Slovenia 2016


INCIDENCE (absolute number of all new cases in one year)

MORTALITY (absolute number of deceased due to cancer in one year)

PREVALENCE (all cancer patients that are alive on a given date)


Because of ageing of Slovenian population, it is expected that absolute numbers of new cancer cases will continue to increase. We estimated that there have been 15.844 new cancer cases in the year 2019.

Figure 1: Cancer burden, Slovenia 2016

Figure 2: Number of new cancer case by age-groups, Slovenia 2016.


  • In general, crude incidence and mortality rates are increasing.
  • Crude incidence rate has almost doubled in the last twenty years. In the last 10 years, the average annual increase in crude incidence rate was 2%; 2.3% in males and 1.9% in females. The increase in crude mortality rate in the last 10 years was on average 0.8% per year in males and 0.9% per year in females (Figure 3).
  • More than half of the crude incidence rate increase is a consequence of ageing of the population. In the last 10 years, the average annual increase in cumulative incidence rate was less pronounced (Figure 4). However, mortality rate (without the effect of ageing) is decreasing since 1985 in both sexes (Figure 4). The decreasing mortality despite increasing incidence indicates improvement in treatment of cancer patients.

Figure 3: Crude annual incidence and mortality rate for all cancer sites by sex with average annual change in the last 10 years, Slovenia 1950-2016.

Figure 4: Cumulative annual incidence and mortality rate for all cancer sites by sex with average annual change in the last 10 years, Slovenia 1950-2016.


Most frequent cancers:

  • Cancer is not a single disease but hundreds different diseases. This disease can appear in all human tissues and organs. Cancers differ by frequency of appearance, therapy and outcomes. Different cancers have more or less known risk factors.
  • First five most frequent cancers (non-melanoma skin, prostate, colorectal, breast and lung) comprise almost 60% of all new cancer cases (Figure 5).
  • Cancer of these sites is associated with unhealthy lifestyle, such as excessive sunbathing, unhealthy diet, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption; the aim of primary prevention is to lower the risk associated with these factors.
  • In males, the most frequent cancer site in 2016 was prostate (20% of all new cases), followed by non-melanoma skin cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancer (Figure 5). In females, breast cancer and non-melanoma skin cancer comprise around one fifth of all new cases each, followed by colorectal cancer and lung cancer (Figure 5).

Figure 5: The leading cancer sites with percentage distribution by sex, Slovenia 2016.

Figure 6: Percentage distribution of rare, common and unclassified cancers by age group, Slovenia 2004−2013.


Rare cancers:

  • Rare cancers (defined as any cancer with less than 6 new cases per 100.000 inhabitants per year) pose a special challenge for all countries.
  • All rare cancers combined account for more than 22% of all cancers in Slovenia in period 2004–2013; annually there are around 2,880 new rare cancers (142/100.000).
  • In comparison to common cancers, rare cancers occur more often in childhood and adolescence (Figure 6).
  • As in any rare disease also in rare cancers, the low incidence is the main obstacle to conduct clinical trials needed to develop effective treatments. One way to overcome this obstacle would be to precisely monitor the rare cancer burden on population level to establish centres of excellence for diagnostics and treatment.


Five-year net survival for men diagnosed in the period 2012–2016 was 56.3%, for women it was over 60% for the first time, more precisely 60.1% (Figure 7).


Figure 7: Five-year net survival (with 95% confidence interval) of patients diagnosed with selected cancers in periods 2007–2011 and 2012–2016 by sex.