Fewer and fewer people in Germany have to go to hospital because of cancer. As the Federal Statistical Office announced, only around 1.4 million patients were treated in a clinic for this reason in 2022. “The number of inpatient cancer treatments fell again to its lowest level in the past 20 years,” reported the statisticians on the occasion of World Cancer Day on February 4th.
The number of cancer-related hospital stays had already fallen in the previous year. At that time, this was mainly due to the restrictions during the corona pandemic. Now the number has fallen again by two percent. “One reason for the decline could be improvements in prevention, care and treatment,” the Federal Office said in a statement. The overall number of inpatient hospital treatments remained constant.
Cause of one in twelve hospital stays
Cancer is the fourth most common reason for a hospital stay: eight percent of all inpatient treatments in 2022 were due to cancer. More often, only diseases of the circulatory system, injuries or poisoning and diseases of the digestive system were treated as inpatients.
People between the ages of 60 and 79 are particularly likely to be treated in hospital for cancer. More than half of all cancer patients belong to this age group. A fifth were aged 40 to 59, and another 20 percent were 80 or older. Only five percent of cancer patients were under 40 years old.
Lung cancer is the most common
Most frequently, patients diagnosed with lung and bronchial cancer were treated as inpatients in hospital (twelve percent of cases). However, this number fell the most significantly compared to the previous year (minus four percent). This was followed by colon cancer, breast cancer and skin cancer. In the case of skin cancer, the number of hospital cases increased by three percent, bucking the trend.
Better chances of recovery, but still more deaths
“With improved prevention, care and treatment for cancer, the chances of recovery also increase,” reported the Federal Office. Nevertheless, the number of deaths caused by cancer has increased within 20 years: in 2022, a good 231,500 people died as a result of cancer. In 2002 there were only around 210,000.
“In general, however, the increase can also be attributed to the aging of the population,” said the statisticians. The proportion of cancer victims in total deaths has fallen over the same period: from 25 percent in 2002 to 22 percent in 2022.
Men die more often from cancer
This means that cancer remained the second most common cause of death in 2022. 54 percent of cancer deaths were men and 46 percent were women. The most common cause of cancer-related death is lung and bronchial cancer. This cancer was responsible for 45,200 deaths in 2022. Following in the list of causes of cancer-related deaths were colorectal cancer (24,300 deaths), pancreatic cancer (19,200), breast cancer (19,100) and prostate cancer (15,600).