In many reports the percentage of home deaths in cancer is based on selected populations. In this population-based study all cancer patients who died within 12 months within a specified area were studied (n = 108). This area is covered by hospital-based home care (HBHC) on a 24-h basis, which doctors available by day and at night. Forty people (37%) out of the total cancer population died in their own homes. Another 11% would theoretically have been ideal candidates for home care at the end of life. Thus, a home death rate of about 50% of the cancer patients is a realistic figure, and much higher than the usual 5-15% reported, provided that an effective HBHC is offered.