Cancer overview in Colombia

In Colombia, approximately more than 113,000 people develop a type of cancer each year, 61,000 women and 52,000 men, while nearly 55,000 deaths are confirmed year by year. The country has an incidence rate of 182 cases per 100,000 inhabitants for all types of cancer, that’s why it can be considered among the countries with medium-high cancer incidence, according to estimates made by the International Agency for Research Cancer (IARC), based on data available worldwide for 2020.

The types of cancer with higher prevalence are breast and prostate cancer. The first one, with more than 15,000, and the second with 14,460 cases per year, represent respectively 13.7% and 12.8% of all malignant tumors. Those two types of cancer have the highest incidence in women and men, correspondingly 25,7% and 27,4%. Regarding the number of deaths in Colombia, the data shows that nearly 54,000 people die each year due to cancer. The main types of cancer with the highest mortality in the country are stomach (+6,400), lung (+6,000), colorectum (+5,000), breast (+4000), and prostate (+3,800) cancer. Also, there has been notable progress in the early diagnosis of cases, going from 75% of patients confirmed in less than 125 days in 2015 to less than 70 days in 2018.

Ten-Year Cancer Plan:

 The Ten-Year Plan for Cancer Control is a public policy of high relevance for patients and all the stakeholders in the health system it’s based on the care and prevention of this disease. In the Ten-Year Cancer Plan, both sectors public and private, seek to position cancer as a public health problem on the agenda, as well as mobilize State action, intersectoral action, corporate social responsibility, and individual co-responsibility for the control of this disease in Colombia.

The current Plan, 2012-2020, sought to reduce modifiable risk factors and preventable deaths from cancer, by strengthening and improving both early detection and quality of care. This policy will have to be renewed, after the Ministry of Health issues the Resolution that establishes the conditions for updating the Ten-Year Plan for Cancer Control.

Ten-Year Cancer Plan is the perfect opportunity for All.Can Colombia’s allies to contribute to the cancer public policy discussion of the next ten years. All.Can Colombia Coalition faces an important job due to the great challenges for the 2022-2031 plan. Some of the challenges are the delay in timely diagnosis, and the search for alternatives for the detection and care of patients in health emergencies such as the pandemic that we have experienced in the last year.

Taking into account that the Ministry of Health is close to issuing a Resolution to establish the conditions that must be met in the process of updating the Plan, All.Can has a sufficient margin of time to participate in the discussion.

Health System Reform – Draft Law:

 Currently, in the Colombian Congress, the discussion of a Health System Reform Project is pending. The Draft Law seeks to consolidate a Health System understood as the articulated and harmonious set of principles and norms, public policies, institutions, competencies and procedures, powers, obligations, rights and duties, mechanisms and sources of financing, controls, information, and evaluation. To achieve its objective, the Draft Law proposes a health system where the Territorial Approach, Family Medicine, Unification of Regimes, Self-care Approach, and Transformation of EPS are transversal axes. All.Can Colombia could contribute from its shore to enrich the discussion on cancer care and prevention in the country, based on the ongoing reform.



  1. Estimated number of new cases Colombia Available here:
  2. Ten-Year Cancer Plan Available here:
  3. Cancer overview in Colombia Available here:

Large Survey of Cancer Patients reflects the inefficiency in treating this disease in our country – ALL.CAN Colombia

  The survey, carried out by All.Can Colombia, had a quantitative phase in which 800 patients participated and a qualitative phase where…

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Agora Public Affairs & Strategic Communications Miguel Ángel Herrera

General Allies


Interinstitutional Adult Cancer Observatory - OICA

RASA Foundation

Social Support Network of Antioquia - RASA

Colombian Foundation of Leukemia and Lymphoma

Colombian Foundation of Leukemia and Lymphoma

Faculty of Medicine – University of Antioquia

Faculty of Medicine - University of Antioquia

Sponsoring Allies

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb




Agora Public Affairs & Strategic Communications

Agora Public Affairs & Strategic Communications

Large Survey of Cancer Patients reflects the inefficiency in treating this disease in our country – ALL.CAN Colombia

  The survey, carried out by All.Can Colombia, had a quantitative phase in which 800 patients participated and a qualitative phase where 40 in-depth interviews were conducted with doctors, caregivers,…

All.Can Colombia – Paper on Efficiency in Cancer: The Colombian Case

All.Can Colombia recently released the paper ‘Efficiency in Cancer: The Colombian Case’ in Spanish and English. The paper provides an introduction to efficiency in cancer care evidenced by All.Can’s definition,…

All.Can Colombia– Achievements 2021 and Plans 2022

All.Can Colombia started the new year with an all-new strategic workplan for 2022. In collaboration with its members and allies the National Initiative elaborated a complete list of objectives, actions,…

Cancer Efficiency Forum All.Can Colombia

All.Can Colombia has been consolidating as a multi-sector initiative, with allies such as patient associations, academia, medical-scientific societies and pharmaceutical companies. Thus, the implementation of activities aimed at fulfilling the…

All.Can Colombia consolidates its membership

All.Can Colombia, officially established in early 2021, consolidated during the first quarter of 2021. As the second national initiative in the Latin American region, All.Can Colombia emerges with a robust…

New All.Can National Initiative in Colombia

All.Can International is pleased to welcome a new national initiative in Colombia. The newly established initiative will structure its 2021 plan of activities around two working packages based on research…

Efficiency in Cancer – the Colombian Case

Cancer continues to be one of the main causes of death worldwide, and Colombia is not the exception. However, amidst the search for solutions to this immense issue concerning human health, there is work underway in a new global strategy that seeks to generate greater efficiency with regards to the approach to cancer, meaning addressing resources towards what is important for patients, and thus achieving better results.

In a global exploration of the literature, we found that in Europe as well as in the United States and Colombia there are several examples of malpractice in cancer efficiency; therefore, studying these cases to identify the failures is paramount. Likewise, the increasing cases of new diagnosis and cancer related deaths in Colombia, with COVID-19 as one of its possible causes, put a spotlight on the need to study the measures that the regulator and legislator need to take to face this situation and improve life quality and life expectancy of patients with any type of cancer diagnosis in the country. This is a joint work of the National Government and the Colombian Congress, scientific experts and even the pharmaceutical industry.

Report in Spanish: Eficiencia en Cancer

Report in English: Efficiency in Cancer