After heart disease, cancer is the most common cause of death in many developed countries. Understanding how the overall cancer incidence evolves during economic growth can help macroeconomic attempts to forecast the economic impact of cancer and to manage resources allocation in planning health services. In this paper, we discuss the relationship between economic growth and cancer incidence. The purposes of the paper are to describe and measure the influence of an increasing real per capita income on the overall incidence of cancer. Using worldwide cross-sectional data for 162 countries, regression results with crude and age-standardised rates, allow us to measure the elasticity of cancer incidence with respect to per capita income, and to decompose the elasticity coefficient into two components: age-effect and lifestyle-effect.