Cancer in Sri Lanka is steadily on the rise. As per the World Health Organization – Non-Communicable diseases (NCD) Country Profiles, 2014 – 75% of the 138,000 total deaths are due to Non Communicable Diseases which include cancer.

As cancer cases mount due to better detection and more reporting, the number of fatalities has dropped significantly due to more effective treatment methods. This applies to Sri Lanka as well, where most hospitals have reported an increase in the number of patients visiting the out patient departments for screening of cancer.

Out of all cancers the highest cause of death in males was due to mouth and oropharynx cancer (18.8%) whilst in females it was breast cancer.

As with the deaths the same pattern is seen with detection of new cases of cancers. Every year approximately 4000 cases of breast cancer are detected in females whilst approximately 1900 cases of lip and oral cavity cancer are detected in males.