This paper presents different aspects of burden of cancer to individual, society and economy in terms of incidence, mortality as well as direct and indirect costs associated with cancer. European and Polish cancer incidence is increasing and mortality decreasing indicating the impact of screening programs and improvements in treatment. Spending on cancer is increasing but too low and still not in parity with the relative burden of cancer compared to other diseases. Accessibility to cancer drugs (especially innovative drugs) is not sufficient in Poland and in comparison to European countries. The public spending on cancer drugs is increasing but at too low rate.