NOP online
ISSN 1802-887X

Over 81,000 cases of cancer diagnosed in the Czech Republic in 2013

A total of 81,541 people were diagnosed with cancer, and there were 26,944 cancer deaths in the Czech Republic in 2013. The prevalence of cancer patients reached 518,667 as on 31 December 2013, Czech Minister of Health Svatopluk Nemecek said today. There is space for further improvement in cancer care, such as the availability of cancer care in specialised centres, which varies among regions.

“The Czech Republic ranks among countries with the highest cancer incidence rates in the world, and that is why cancer care is one of the priorities of the Czech health care system,” Nemecek said.

According to the latest data, the number of newly diagnosed cancer cases has annually risen by 2.2%, and the number of people with a history of cancer cancer has increased by 4.4%. These figures prove the quality of care as a higher number of cancer patients survive nowadays when compared to the past, said Ladislav Dusek, head of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic. Despite the growing incidence, mortality has decreased in the long term.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men (Fig. 1), and breast cancer is the most common cancer in women (Fig. 2). Colorectal cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in both sexes (Fig. 3). The incidence trend of colorectal cancer has remained level in the recent period. Screening programmes have played an important role in decreasing mortality rates of breast cancer and colorectal cancer. However, rising incidence and decreasing mortality in many cancer types have inevitably led to a rapidly growing prevalence of these cancers. Breast cancer and prostate cancers are typical examples (Fig. 4). The website provides detailed information on cancer epidemiology in the Czech Republic.

Fig. 1: Time trend of prostate cancer (C61) in the Czech Republic. Data source: NOR [2] Fig. 2: Time trend of breast cancer (C50) in the Czech Republic. Data source: NOR [2] Fig. 3: Time trend of colorectal cancer (C18–C20) in the Czech Republic. Data source: NOR [2]

A large proportion of breast cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage. Unfortunately, the situation is rather different in colorectal cancer and lung cancer, as most patients are diagnosed in advanced clinical stages (III or IV). Furthermore, primary and secondary prevention of cancer is not working very well: the consumption of tobacco and alcohol in the Czech Republic ranks among the highest in Europe, and preventive checkups are underestimated. The good news is that survival rates of Czech cancer patients have been growing. Results of the EUROCARE-5 study [1] were very good for the Czech Republic: in terms of cancer survival, the Czech Republic ranks highly above the East European average, and has been catching up with developed European countries (Fig. 5).

Fig. 4: Selected cancers in the Czech Republic: time trends.
Data source: NOR [2]
Fig. 5: Survival of cancer patients
in the Czech Republic (EUROCARE-5).
Data source: EUROCARE-5 [1].

Assoc Prof Jana Prausova, MD, PhD, President of the Czech Society for Oncology, briefly described how comprehensive cancer care in the Czech Republic works, explained the significance of the background information for cancer care planning, and highlighted the indispensability of the Czech National Cancer Registry [2]. Dr Prausova also mentioned the Czech National Cancer Control Programme and its emphasis on cancer prevention, which includes fight against tobacco among others. More information on the Czech National Cancer Control Programme and on comprehensive cancer centres is available on the websites and

Assoc Prof Roman Zachoval, MD, PhD, senior consultant of the Department of Urology at Thomayer Hospital in Prague presented data on prostate cancer epidemiology in the Czech Republic. Dr Zachoval pointed out the recently growing burden of prostate cancer in the Czech Republic. Over the last decade, the incidence has grown by more than 90% (!), whereas the mortality has “only” risen by 6.8%. This has inevitably led to a steep increase in prostate cancer prevalence, and a rapidly growing volume of care provided to patients with a history of prostate cancer. Detailed information on the epidemiology of prostate cancer and other urological malignancies in the Czech Republic is available on the website (in Czech language only).


  1. De Angelis, R. et al. (2013). Cancer survival in Europe 1999—2007 by country and age: results of EUROCARE-5—a population-based study The Lancet Oncology DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(13)70546-1
  2. Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic: Czech National Cancer Registry (CNCR) [12. 11. 2015].


Keywords: prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, cancer epidemiology, survival of cancer patients, availability of cancer care

12. 11. 2015 Czech Ministry of Health